Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

November 04, 2010

Zucchini is one of the few vegetables that’s not good for me. Which is surprising considering it’s extremely low in calories (13 calories in a half cup), has a considerable amount of vitamin C along with good amounts of folate, potassium, and vitamin A. My problem is, when I see zucchini I think of zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, and zucchini bars. I do not think of steamed zucchini, stir-fried zucchini, or raw zucchini.

So, the other day when I had a couple of zucchini to use up, I immediately thought of the Zucchini Bars my mother made when I was growing up. They’re moist, fragrant, filled with spices and raisins for extra sweetness.

The girls ate the leftover shredded zucchini thereby getting all of the good vitamins without the added fat and calories. But I know I enjoyed the bars more than they enjoyed the raw zucchini.

Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
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2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1½ cups shredded zucchini
1 cup raisins

Icing:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, or enough for desired consistency

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray 13×9-inch pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium speed 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until blended. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Stir in the zucchini and raisins. Spread batter in baking pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make icing, beat cream cheese, lemon juice and milk on medium speed until blended and smooth. Reduce speed to low and slowly beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, adding additional sugar for desired consistency. Spread icing over bars. Let stand 30 minutes or until set.

Makes 24 bars

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