September’s Improv Challenge ingredients are Zucchini and Brown Sugar. Zucchini is on my husband’s list of dreaded veggies…so I had to think what my daughter would eat. She does enjoy my zucchini bread so I transformed that recipe into muffins and gilded the lily with a dollop of Mascarpone icing. Who wouldn’t want to start the day with one of these beauties???? It’s a muffin, not a cupcake, so it’s perfectly legal for breakfast, people! Right? Katie was a fan, so I know these were winners.
Thanks to Kristen, of Frugal Antics of a Harried Housewife, for keeping us in line and organized with our challenges month after month. Stay tuned for next month’s Oatmeal and Raisin challenge.
Tip of the day: Do not over mix muffin batter. Once the liquid is added to the dry ingredients with the leavening, stir by hand just till moistened. Over mixing will cause tunnels and a peaked versus a rounded top.
Zucchini Muffins with Mascarpone Frosting…recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated and Taste of Home
1 pound zucchini, unpeeled and grated
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375º. Line muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Line two 1/2 cup ramekins with paper liners. Set aside.
Put shredded zucchini in strainer over a bowl and toss with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Allow to drain for about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, yogurt, 2 eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and butter. Set aside.
Squeeze zucchini to remove excess liquid, then stir zucchini into yogurt mixture. When well mixed, add flour mixture and stir till just combined. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter per muffin. Bake for about 22-25 minutes or till toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes then remove muffins to cooling rack.
While muffins are cooling, make frosting. With hand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and Mascarpone till light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix till smooth. Pipe a mound of frosting onto center of each muffin.