Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

11 Aug

Remember that zucchini my mom’s neighbor gave us? I started today off thinking I’d make zucchini bread with it. Then I decided I was more in the mood for muffins, and then chocolate zucchini muffins came up on a Google search, and, well, that was that. Destiny.

I found a recipe that looked pretty good, but it had a ton of sugar and a ton of oil in it. So I started messing around: I substituted wheat flour for part of the white, reduced the overall sugar by almost half and split that between brown (which loves chocolate) and white, added a mashed ripe banana for some of the fat and replaced liquid fat (which spreads) with a solid fat (which fluffs), ditched a bunch of seasonings in favor of instant coffee granules (to deepen the chocolate flavor), and upped the baking powder to help give these babies a little crown on top. I also added mini chocolate chips. I have kids.

This came together pretty quickly. I grated about one and a half zucchini with the finest side of my trusty old-fashioned box grater, which took less than a minute. Everything else was dumped into the stand mixer, which did its work in no time flat. You could very easily mix these by hand or with a hand mixer if that’s what you have.

If you don’t have instant coffee granules around, think about adding a teaspoon of cinnamon or a half-teaspoon of espresso powder instead. You’re deepening the chocolate flavor with those, not adding another flavor. And that banana? You won’t taste it in the final muffins, which are fluffy and moist and chocolatey.

There is still quite a bit of sugar in this recipe, but bear in mind, you’ll get about 18 to 24 muffins out of it, depending on how large or small you make yours; I got 20, but I like ’em big. The final serving doesn’t have much, all things considered. These have more of a dark chocolate flavor to them than a sweet cookie flavor; up the sugar or add some honey if you’re looking for more of a milk chocolate muffin.

To make my chocolate zucchini muffins, you’ll need:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup shortening (you can use butter, but it’ll change the flavor slightly)

1 very ripe banana, mashed

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 normal-sized veggies)

1 cup wheat flour

2 cups all-purpose flour (use 3 cups AP if you don’t have wheat)

1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used plain old Hershey’s)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp instant coffee granules (I used decaf because that’s what we had)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin. Set aside.

Cream together sugars, shortening, and banana until well-combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat after each. Add vanilla and zucchini and stir until combined.

Stir in flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and coffee granules. When the batter comes together, add mini chocolate chips and stir to combine. Do not over-mix this batter–it’ll toughen right up. You’re going for just-combined.

Fill your muffin tins 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on your oven temperature–you want to bake just until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Chocolate, veggies, whole wheat. What’s better than that?

6 Responses to “Chocolate Zucchini Muffins”

  1. Emma August 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    What is your experience or opinion substituting Splenda for the sugar? I’ve never cooked with it, so I’m not sure how that would affect the recipe. Just wondered.

  2. Kim August 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Splenda isn’t as fine as sugar, so things come out a little tougher with it. If you want to do that and still want these nice and soft, give the Splenda a whirl in the food processor to make it finer, and then go from there. 🙂

  3. Tracey August 11, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Hey Kim, how much cocoa? It’s missing from the ingredients list. My neighbor’s garden is in high gear and I know she’s giving away zucchinis. I may be tempted to take one from her – these sound good!

  4. Kim August 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    GAAAAH! I fixed it, Tracey-it’s 1/3 cup. Thanks for the catch!

    • Tracey August 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks!! =)

  5. mamatulip August 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    I’m making these this week. They sound fantastic!

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