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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Final (maybe!) Zucchini Entry for This Season



A friend who bakes prodigiously, and then shares all the tantalizing results on Facebook, recently shared her recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars. I guess I was speed reading when I saw her praises for the cookies, as I had thought they were chocolate chocolate chip bars, something I promised another friend I'd bring to a coffee gathering.

No problem. I just adapted the recipe and it worked out nicely, a very dense, chewy and fudgy-type bar. Still, I thought it would be good to try the original recipe out too. As usual however, (sorry, Felicia), I decided to do a little adapting and added vanilla and cinnamon to the mix. As she promised, these are excellent bar cookies that will be a nice addition to your "what do I do with all this zucchini" recipe file.

Note that I did not peel the zucchini for these recipes. Unlike the chocolate cake I offered a few posts ago, the green still shows up just a little after both of these bar cookies were baked. So you have a choice--peel the zucchini or 'fess up from the start about the ingredient that makes these so moist.



Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars

(The few I had left after our coffee are on the plate in the picture above.)

1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, soft but not melted
2 eggs
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1 3/4 c flour
1 t baking powder
2 c lightly packed shredded zucchini
1 1/4 c chocolate chips

1. Beat together the first six ingredients until smooth.
2. Stir in the flour sifted with the baking powder.
3. Fold in the zucchini and then the chocolate chips, just until well-mixed. Try not to overbeat. (I suspect that too much beating at this stage may make these a little gummy.)
4. Pour into a well-oiled 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes, until just set.


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars--the almost original recipe

(These are the bars still in the pan in the photo.)

1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter (I actually used about 3/8 c butter and 2 T canola oil)
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1 3/4 c flour
1 t baking powder
2 c lightly packed shredded zucchini
1 1/4 c chocolate chips
sugar and cinnamon for topping (optional)

1. Beat together the first five ingredients until smooth.
2. Stir in the flour sifted with the baking powder.
3. Fold in the zucchini and then the chocolate chips, just until well-mixed. Try not to overbeat. (I suspect that too much beating at this stage may make these a little gummy.)
4. Pour into a well-oiled 9 X 13 pan. If desired, sprinkle generously with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon OR with just some cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes, until just set.

You don't need to know all the details of why I used this proportion of oil and butter, only that it is possible to sometimes substitute oil for a portion of butter or other shortening in a recipe. That said, do be aware that more than a small proportion of oil substituted may throw off other balances of liquid, etc., and you can expect that results might be different from the original--not necessarily better or worse, but definitely different at times.

Another thing that I did differently in the two versions: I used semisweet chocolate chips in the chocolate version and milk chocolate chips in the "original" version. My personal chocolate preference leans toward the semisweet, but you could use either kind in either recipe depending on what you have and what you prefer. There is more density of chocolate flavor using the semisweet chips, however.

Finally...the real original recipe included 3/4 c shortening. I'm sure those were even more rich and tasty, but the half cup seems to be doing fine and is just a little healthier--or maybe, a little less unhealthy? Whichever...thanks so much for sharing, Felicia. These are great, double chocolate or not.

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