I have had this recipe bookmarked in the back of my mind for almost a year now. I first had these cookies at a “bring a side dish or dessert” housewarming party for someone in John’s department. I took Mocha Truffle cookies. The secretary for John’s department, who was unable to be at the party, sent these cookies. I don’t remember if I instantly asked John to ask for the recipe or if I waited until she had asked for a recipe for another cookie I made, but I know I instantly wanted it.
Except for the fact that they have zucchini in them.
I am not sure what Trish’s experience has been, but so far everyone who has tried the ones I made has guessed Granny Smith apples. Something about simmering the zucchini slices in the lime juice brings out the sweetness in the squash. They even almost smell like apples! But the bars also taste like citrus bars, of course, because of all of that lime juice.
In short, these are an excellent and unique way to use up some of that overflowing squash in the markets right now. And because she calls for the squash to be peeled, I went ahead and used up one of those honkin’ huge squashes that always take over everyone’s gardens and that no one ever wants to use. I just scraped the seeds out and cut it into long wedges before slicing them thinly.
I labeled these under lemon baked goods because Trish called for lemon juice but I decided to use lime.
For the topping and base:
4 cups AP flour
1/2 t salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
For the zucchini:
4 cups sliced zucchini, peeled
2/3 cup lemon or lime juice
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
1 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 11X17 jelly roll pan and set aside.
Simmer the peeled, sliced zucchini in the lemon juice until tender, being careful not to overcook. For me this was around 15 minutes. Add the sugar and spices and cook another 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Then whisk together the flour and salt and add it in. This will create a crumbly mixture. Measure out 1/2 cup of this mixture and stir it into the zucchini mix to thicken it.
Trish says to pat 1/2 of the remaining dry mixture into the bottom of the prepared jelly roll pan–for me it was more like 2/3 of the remaining dough. Bake for 10 minutes in the 350 F oven.
Spread the cooked zucchini mixture onto the baked crust. Crumble the remaining dry mixture over the filling and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
Let the cookies cool completely before slicing. For me, it helped to let them stand an additional hour or so–it helped them firm up.