Saturday, August 07, 2010

Grandma Tiny’s Zucchini Cookies (They’re vegan!)


While I was in Idaho a few weeks ago, I found a recipe for Zucchini Cookies (These just happen to be vegan!) in my mom’s recipe box that was hand written by my Grandma Tiny (who is my dad’s mom).  Grandma Tiny was called that for very good reason as she was not more than four feet nine inches tall, four foot ten at the most.  Oh how I loved Grandma Tiny and all the little memories I have of her.  She died in October of 1984, I was almost 14.  (She had lung cancer for a number of years.)

I searched and searched for the pictures I have of her, but since we just moved, I cannot find the photos.  I asked my mom to send me a picture of her to include with this post and here’s the great photo she sent---


I remember Grandma with gray hair and looking a bit older, but that’s because this picture was taken on my parent’s wedding day.  That beautiful bride is my mother!  Though I always thought she looked a little older, that is the same hairdo my grandma always had. 

Not that it’s a pleasant thing, but I remember my grandma always had a cigarette in one hand and either a Budweiser or coffee in the other.  I DO NOT like the smell of cigarette smoke now!  But there was something I LOVED about the smell of Grandma Tiny’s house.  It was a combined smell of cigarettes and April Fresh Downy Fabric Softener.  You could always smell fresh laundry in her house with the underlying smell of smoke.  When she died, I kept a dish towel of hers and used to smell it all the time.  To this day, I still have the towel wrapped in a plastic bag, but it does not smell anymore. :(

We would often get to take turns, one or two of us six at a time, spending the night with her and Grandpa Oral—O.T. (who I think died in 1981).  I remember the most time spent with Grandma after he died.  When we’d get to spend the night at her house, she would watch all the soap operas during the day.  My sister, Mandi, and I were hooked on General Hospital for a few years way back in our teen years because of Grandma.  Grandma also always read The Enquirer and I guess even the little things are passed down because my dad has always faithfully reads it too.  (Funny, he says he just likes it for the facts and things that are true.  You figure that one out!  Love ya, Dad!)

While Grandma would be sitting and watching her shows and we’d be there playing cards or something (Solitaire or War anyone?) , she would always click her long fingernails together.  It was a sound I loved hearing and always think of her still when I hear someone click their nails.  Grandma used to watch all the daytime game shows, too, like Match Game and Password.  I think she is the reason I have always LOVED game shows.  The Price Is Right always being my favorite.  In 2006, my mom and sister-in-law, Monica and I were at the show with Bob Barker!  Dream come true.

Grandma always made good hearty dinners.  Besides all her meals, Grandma always had something for dessert.  I don’t know why I vividly remember angel food cake.  She’d often make our cakes for our birthdays and I remember it always being angel food cake with lots of thick pink icing.  Then she would decorate the cakes with those big hard sugar decorations.  If I’m correct, I think Grandma worked in the bakery at Safeway for years. 

I don’t at all remember Grandma ever making Zucchini Cookies, but I love finding her writing on a recipe.



I HAD to make the cookies, after all, it is zucchini season and someone gave me a perfect size zucchini.


  I halved the huge recipe.  Grandma’s recipe had 2 cups of brown sugar, one cup of oil, four cups of flour and an enormous two cups of raisins!  Here is the half recipe as I made it.  I only changed some of the spices a little.  Grandma’s recipe only called for ginger and nutmeg.  I added some cinnamon, which if you look at the recipe, you can see some different writing with cinnamon added.  That was done by my mother.

Grandma Tiny’s Zucchini Cookies (They’re vegan!), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

Stir together in a medium sized bowl: (No electric mixer needed.)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup grated zucchini (I use the fine grater)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together in another medium sized bowl:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped (or walnuts) 

1 cup raisins (optional, I left them out so these would get eaten by others and not just me)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined.  Stir in the nuts and raisins.

Drop by spoonfuls on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.


These are great cookies and perfect for using up more of that zucchini you have.  I thought I’d miss that there is no butter taste in them, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t miss it.  No butter, no egg = vegan cookies.  Next time I make them, I will probably use whole wheat flour for that added health factor.

Until we meet again, Grandma Tiny! (Blows kiss.)


Unknown said...

Maravillosa historia familiar y fantastica receta!!
Saludos desde Francia

Jill said...

I love your memories of your grandma. I have some photocopies of recipe cards from my grandmas (somehow my sister-in-law got the originals...) and they look just like that.

How cool that you went to The Price is Right! I always wanted to do that but never made it.

Twila said...

My grandma made the best molasses cookies, and I found her handwritten recipe amongst my mom's things when she died, so now I have it. But sadly, mine don't turn out like hers did. So I actually use another recpe, but it still brings back many precious memories when I look at that card.

Kerstin said...

Aww, what a sweet tribute to your grandma. And the cookies look super tasty!

Paula said...

That recipe card is identical to some in my old box. Love the story about smells. They are powerful, especially when connected to memories.

We went to the Price is Right once too. That was a LONG day of waiting.

Looking forward to your hosting us Tuesday!

Unknown said...

I love passed down from generations recipes. They always turn out to be the best. Your mom married super young? She looks like a child :)

Carol said...

My daughter is packing to leave for her second year of college. I have a chest of quilts, blankets and pillow cases from my Grandma, who passed away in 1993. When I open the lid I could smell Downy, and the flood of memories was almost overwhelming. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story about your Grandmother.

Lauren said...

These look delicious! I love zucchini in baked goods but I get sick of making zucchini bread all the time. I'll have to try this out!

Eliana said...

What a great treasure to be passed down. These look super delicious.

Megan said...

What happy memories you have of your grandparents. And having access to her old recipe cards? Extra points!

Those cookies look like mini zucchini cakes - but in a more portable form.

Paige said...

What a great find. I love these old fashioned types of cookies. My Grandmom made soft drop carrot cookies. I haven't had them in years. Thanks for sharing your Grandmother's recipe with us.

Natalie said...

so fun to see a dessert recipe with zucchini that isn't zucchini bread!! I'll keep these in mind!

ps. made your lime blueberry scones yesterday-loved 'em! :)

FatFighterTV said...

Those look absolutely scrumptious! And BTW, I love seeing that Jayhawk pic in your sidebar! (I did tell you I grew up in Lawrence, didn't I?)

Gourmified said...

Oh these look delicious! I'm going to make them for sure! I have some recipe cards like that from my mom and grandmother and I absolutely LOVE them. There's something special about a recipe card nowadays...kinda like getting that special letter in the snail-mailbox.

Max and Deborah said...

Oh my goodness your mom was so adorable on her wedding day. You look exactly like her!!
Love going down your memory lane. So fun to have her hand writting. I think of my writting and realize someday my grand children may think the same about mine. Always love new ways to use up zucchini. Thank you!
Is there any Tarantula anywhere in your cookies?

Anne said...

This is so sweet. I love posts like this and the cookies look wonderful! :)

Lily said...

Hi Katrina, this is Lily from the Merc. Paige recommended that we try this recipe for a special project at the Merc, and we did. They were absolutely amazing. Thanks for posting!

megan said...

I love this old recipe and how great you found it! Perfect timing with all the zuchinni around this time of year.

Anonymous said...

yum those look so good! I love zucchini cookies and I'm excited to make vegan ones. This looks like the best vegan recipe for them i've found so far. :-)

Anonymous said...

I found this on a Google search and I've just baked them: I had a courgette from a friend and this used it up fine (though I had to triple the recipe). I'm really impressed! They came out really well and, although I found mixing the dough difficult (I'm only little, but not so much as your Grandma!) I really like them! I didn't have any walnuts or pecans in so I used hazelnuts and omitted about half a cup of flour and replaced it with cocoa for chocolatey hazelnut cookies :) I also have some of my Grandma's recipes: she's just turned 90 and is still with us but she doesn't/can't bake anymore. Thankyou very much from the UK!

Anonymous said...

My grandma made these cookies too. Reading your recipe and about your gma made me think of her. They where from the same era. My grandma watched her "programs" Days of our lives was her favorite. She liked the Enquirer too . The cookies came out great and I made the big recipe and shared with my friend. Grandmas are awesome and I appreciate you sharing. Stephanie

Katrina said...

Great, Stephanie. Thanks for the comment! So good to hear.

Anonymous said...

In September 2013 I was given a bunch of zucchinis and had to figure out what to do with them. Came upon this recipe in my search and since then this is my absolute best 'freeze have-on-hand company & last minute desert' cookie. I always have some in the freezer & when friends drop by for coffee, they come out. I once gave my friend and husband a choice between my sugar elephant ears cookies and the zucchini cookies, and they both yelled out 'zucchini'!! I've been asked for it over and over again and even gave it to the lady on the Vegetable stall at the Farmers' Market and she was thrilled. Thanks for sharing Katrina. Suzanne, in Ontario, Canada.

Katrina said...

That is wonderful to hear! Thanks for letting me know, Suzanne, in Ontario, Canada. ;) Wish it was zucchini season right now! So smart to have them in the freezer.

Patience said...

I made these this morning, to try to use up some of the zucchini bumper crop abundance I've recently been gifted with. They are terrific, moist and lovely, and I will definitely be making them again -- thanks for sharing....!

Anonymous said...

I am a vegetarian who doesn't lkke to cook with eggs so your recipe is very appealing to me. I used to make vegan banana cookies and they turned out very well. I was wondering what the flavor of your cookies is and how does the zucchini turn out in your cookies. Have you ever used coconut sugar. It is similar to brown sugar and has a lower glycemic index. Thank you for posting your recipe . I always love it when other people give me new ideas of something I can make.

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