Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is a great bread to make when you feel like summer-ing up your kitchen; it is a crowd-pleaser with a simple, clean taste that takes advantage of great summertime produce. This is perfect when you cannot, in fact, tell whether it is summer or not due to the mid-50 degree weather and on-and-off drizzle. This recipe quickly took my mind of the mid-September weather we seemed to be having and put me where I should be: wondering where my ice pop molds are. This quick bread is super moist and, in my opinion, is like a slightly lighter version of banana or pumpkin bread. It can be made with the delicious chocolate chips, or, as my mom pointed out, without them (But why?). It's also great as a snack, for breakfast, after lunch, or any time your body thinks it would be swell to have a muffin/slice.

It's also pretty easy to make; although recipes that involve excessive amounts of peeling/slicing/shredding/grating/dicing are more trouble than they're worth, this wasn't too tough. I only used two zucchini, and if you use ripe ones they do not take too much effort to peeling and grating them.

I love the color of these muffins when they come out of the oven. They are super golden with little flecks of green. Also, since the batter is pretty thick, the chocolate chips do not all sink to the bottom as they do in some muffin recipes. The key to making sure that the batter isn't too thin is getting the extra moisture out of the grated zucchini before it goes into the batter. After grating and measuring the zucchini, I just plopped the cup's worth onto a paper towel and squeezed out most of the water.

LinkChocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Adapted slightly from May 2011 Food Network Magazine

This recipe can be augmented without much trouble. You could replace the zucchini with the same amount of banana, apple, or even a very ripe pear and get a great loaf of quick bread or muffins. You could use nuts, dried fruit, coconut, etc. instead of chocolate chips.

Makes 12 muffins and one loaf because families can be so needy sometimes.

2 cups Zucchini
2 cups chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup veggie oil
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Prepare muffin tins and 3X9 pan, and preheat the oven to 350. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add chocolate chips. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, veggie oil, sour cream and vanilla. Stir zucchini into the egg mixture. Fold egg mixture into dry mixture. Spread and spoon the batter into their chosen vessels. Bake muffins for 25 minutes, bake loaf for 55 minutes. Note that the moisture in the batter might make the loaf look a little liquidy although a toothpick comes out clean. When the tester is clean, the loaf is done!

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