Monday, September 24, 2018

Amazing Zucchini Brownies

I have been very much mistaken in my disdain for zucchini brownies. Mea culpa.

After this post in which I declared that zucchini brownies were soggy, tasteless, disgusting confections that I was not fond of, a reader sent me this recipe and told me to try it as it just might change my mind. The day before, I had actually obtained quite the harvest of fresh zucchini from a friend's garden so it seemed a fitting time to give it a whirl.

I wasn't expecting much, but this recipe completely blew me away. Not only were the zucchini brownies perfectly delicious, they were downright one of the best brownies I've had in a while. High praise, but oh so true. Fudgey, moist, very chocolaty. The zucchini is completely undetectable. I enjoyed watching Emma gobble down a piece and then announcing that they were made with a hefty dose of her least favorite vegetable. She didn't believe me and insisted that I was pulling her leg.

I made THREE batches of these. I experimented with butter and oil, finding both of them perfectly delicious. For more fudge like brownies, up the butter by 1/2. I also added espresso powder - a must when working with chocolate in my opinion - and a few extra chocolate chips certainly couldn't make these any less delicious. My favorite part about this recipe is that there is no need to drain the zucchini. That's often the part about zucchini recipes that I detest the most because the process oftentimes leads to a stained towel and anxiety over whether enough water had actually been removed. In this recipe, the liquid from the zucchini is required to transform the mixture into a brownie-batter consistency before baking. For this reason, it is recommended that in-season zucchini is best for use in this recipe. So making this with zucchini purchased from the store in mid-February might not be as wonderful.

In short, dear readers, I stand corrected. These are pretty amazing. Give them a try before zucchini season ends!

Zucchini Brownies
adapted slightly from Two Peas in a Pod

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (or butter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups shredded zucchini (don’t squeeze out the moisture)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment and set aside.

In a stand mixer, combine sugar, oil, and flour, combine until mixture resembles wet sand. It will appear dry. While mixing, on low, add cocoa, shredded zucchini, vanilla extract, espresso powder, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined. The mixture will moisten once the zucchini is added. Stir in one cup of the chocolate chips.

Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the brownies are set.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut brownies into squares and serve.

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