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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Carrot Zucchini Bars

It's that time of year again. The time of year when they start releasing all the new cookbooks for the holiday season. I'm not usually on the cutting edge of new cookbook releases. I always wait to see what my other favorite bloggers are saying and wait to make my purchases. There have been a few this year that I just couldn't wait and pre-ordered as soon as they were released. When I took a peek into the Fat Witch Brownie book online and saw that all the recipes are made in a 9X9 pan, I couldn't resist. I much prefer bars to cookies. They are much less labor intensive, put all the dough in one pan, and you are done. No endless rounds of scooping and baking. There is something about the texture of a bar that I like better as well, the cross between a cookie and a cake.
When I actually got this book in my hands I began to wonder if the author is left-handed. Unless it is a novel, I usually browse through books and magazines from back to front. I attribute this to being left handed and it being easier to hold the book and flip the pages this way. The reason I say this is that all my favorite recipes are in the back of this book. These Carrot Zucchini bars were the second to last recipe and the next recipe I want to try for Breakfast Brownies (oatmeal espresso top with a brownie crust) is right before that.
I was amazed by the simplicity of this recipe. The whole time I was making these bars I was thinking there must be something wrong, they just seemed too easy. They turned out  delicious, and moist. Perfecting for using your last zucchini of the season.

Carrot Zucchini Bars
adapted from Fat Witch Brownies

1 1/4 cups shredded carrot
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Place shredded carrots in a colander and pour about 2 cups of boiling water over them. Squeeze out excess moisture and lay carrots out in a thin layer on a clean towel to dry for about an hour.
Grease (with butter) and flour a 9x9 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs. Beat until batter is smooth. Mix in vanilla.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon directly into the batter. Mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the carrots and zucchini. Add walnuts and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly by hand.
Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for one hour. Wait to cut into bars until serving. These bars retained their moisture for several days, but the exposed edges dry out quickly.


  1. This does sound very good, and almost so healthy that eating it would be kind of like taking vitamins. Right??! I'm interested in the initial step with the carrots. Why do you think she does that rather than just using the carrots raw? Could you see in the finished bars that it made a difference?

  2. Oh yum, this sounds so good. My mom used to make a zucchini bread that I never liked because, well, it tasted like zucchini and sugar. But this, with all the sweet veggie combinations, sounds absolutely perfect. Brilliant!

  3. Laurie- the idea is to soften them up. In the book she talks about not liking them crunchy. I'm pretty sure it made a big difference as this was incredibly moist.

    PCB- I can guarantee there is no lack of flavor here. I can't say I could taste any individual ingredient, which is a good thing!

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I made these bars last night. . . however, I sent my husband out to do the grocery shopping before I made them and he came back with a cucumber! So instead of zucchini, I used three small very ripe bananas. Carrot banana bars = delish!

  5. Carrot Banana Bars with Chocolate Chips. Oh my! That does sound really good. I'll have to keep that in mind for the winter months when fresh zucchini is not available here.


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