Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Carrot and Zucchini Bars* w/Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is a KEEEEEEEEPER!!  
I think this is more like a snack cake than a bar.
It is moist AND ... SO good!

INGREDIENTS for the Bars:
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 small pinches of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (some may prefer to use cinnamon in place of the ginger)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Smart Balance blend of oils)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups finely shredded  carrots (I used a "fine grate" disc on my food processor to get this done.)
1 cup finely shredded zucchini (If using larger zucchini, cut in half and remove seeds/dry stuff.  I do not peel it.)
1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans?), optional

INGREDIENTS for the Cream Cheese Icing:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS for making the bars:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger).  Set aside.

In a "quite large" mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Whisk until well mixed.  Set aside so the sugar granules can better dissolve while you grate the carrots and zucchini.

Grate the carrots and the zucchini.

Dump the well-whisked dry ingredients AND the grated carrots AND the grated zucchini AND the chopped nuts to the "wet ingredients" in the large mixing bowl.  Using a wide spatula or wooden spoon, GENTLY stir or fold these ingredients evenly into the wet ingredients-- to have the finished product end up lighter, do NOT over-mix/stir.

Dump finished batter into the prepared pan/dish, like this... 
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, which is about 25 minutes.  Coming out of the oven, mine looked like this... 
Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

DIRECTIONS for making the icing:
Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until it's smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat together until all is VERY smooth and creamy-like (2-3 minutes?).  Spread evenly over the cooled bars.  
The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature OR in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  These also FREEZE very well!

*Recipe, with a different kind of icing, was adapted from website of  And, before that, it came from  the
Better Homes and Gardens website at

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