Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Nearly two years ago I took the plunge and attempted to bake with zucchini for the first time.  The result was a chocolate zucchini cake that was loved by just about everyone who tried it (even Shane, and that’s saying something!); it was also one of the most popular recipes on this site for a while.  In the oven, the zucchini became undetectable so if you didn’t know any better you would have thought you were just eating a really moist chocolate cake.  When I found myself with some extra zucchini recently, I remembered that cake.  I was tempted to make it again, but I was craving cupcakes and rather than convert the old recipe (which I’m sure would have worked fine, I’m just averse to making the same dessert recipe more than once), I found a new one.

This recipe is really quick to throw together so I had the batter in the oven within minutes.  As it baked, I contemplated whether I’d frost my cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or chocolate buttercream.  When the cupcakes came out of the oven, though, it became apparent that they were more muffin than cupcake.  They weren’t as light and fluffy as I like my cupcakes to be, and they had a coarser crumb. I can’t say I was completely surprised – as I spooned the batter into the muffin pan I noticed it was quite thick, but since zucchini has so much moisture I thought maybe they’d still bake up with a fluffy texture. Lest there be any confusion, as muffins, these are terrific! If you’re not averse to eating chocolate for breakfast, they’re a perfect on the go option. If you are, consider them an afternoon snack. I liked them best warm so I recommend 10 or 15 seconds in the microwave if you’re not eating them immediately. Maybe even spread with a little bit of peanut butter – yum 🙂

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
from Gourmet, September 2009 (via Epicurious)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 lb zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
6-oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.  Use a rubber spatula to fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips. 

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared liners.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

Makes 10-12 muffins

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