Monday, November 26, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I generally am not a muffin person. I don’t know why. I just prefer cookies. Or the occasional cake. Or, mmmm… ice cream. Or cheesecake…yum! Okay getting side tracked. Anyway, during my recent vacation I had an extra zucchini lying around (who doesn’t) and decided that zucchini muffins were the way to go. And not just plain old zucchini, but chocolate chocolate chip zucchini. I found the recipe on From Ketchup to Chutney and they turned out pretty good. I may have overbaked them just slightly because they weren’t as moist as I would like, but still very tasty. And for anyone worried, you don’t taste the zucchini at all.

I did make a few tiny adjustments. The original recipe called for half wheat flour and half all-purpose flour and I just used AP flour for the whole thing. It also called for plain yogurt and I used plain Greek yogurt since I had some. One little thing that threw me was the orange zest. In the future, I might leave it out. I’m not a big fan of chocolate and citrus, and the orange smell was definitely prevalent the first day. However it did dissipate after that first day, so maybe it’s fine. If you do like the citrus-chocolate combination, by all means, leave it in. The recipe also said that it only made 24 mini-muffins but it made almost three times that.

1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 ¼ cups shredded zucchini
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of ½ orange
2 ½ cups white flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
8 oz chocolate chips

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Either line your muffin tins or spray them with Pam. In a large bowl, beat or whisk together the sugar, oil and vanilla, then beat in one egg at a time until smooth, followed by the yogurt. Stir in the citrus zest and the grated zucchini.

I usually don’t advocate separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients, but for this recipe I would make an exception. So in a separate bowl stir together your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Make sure they are mixed thoroughly. Add half the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir (by hand, not mixer!) until it’s just mixed, before adding the rest. You don’t want to overmix, so just make sure that it’s all incorporated and that’s it. Add in your chocolate chips and stir briefly.

Fill your muffin cups three quarters full and bake. I made mini muffins so I baked each batch about 13 minutes. If I did it again I might try a batch at 11 minutes and see if they are any more moist. Full size muffins cook for 15-20 minutes.

I think my favorite part of making these was giving some to a couple male friends (mostly for them to take to their families). I didn’t think zucchini was such a weird ingredient but they both balked and said, “Chocolate chip—what?” Later one of them referred to the muffins as “Rutabaga-asparagus or something.” So I guess as long as your guests or kids aren’t as picky as those two, you’ll be set. 

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