Chocolate zucchini muffins

A couple of months ago, Andy and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a long weekend in Door County, Wisconsin, where we stayed at a wonderfully perfect little bed and breakfast called the White Lace Inn. We had a blast, and the Inn was a huge part of that trip’s success. We spent long, relaxing evenings in our room in front of the wood burning fireplace, and in the mornings we enjoyed fabulous homemade breakfasts. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Door County, I very highly recommend the White Lace Inn. It’s just charming. I have a lot of warm and happy memories from that trip (but not thanks to any photos, because I forgot to pack our camera. And no, I’m not over it yet).

Anyway, on to the food. The Inn had a collection of recipes printed on little cards that guests could take. Naturally I had to take one of everything. The first one I tried, not long after we got back from our trip, was for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. That’s when I realized a tricky thing about White Lace Inn recipes–they are missing the innkeeper’s special touch. We enjoyed these with breakfast while we were there. My first attempt at making them was good but not spectacular.

Since then, I’ve made some changes to make this recipe my own. The biggest change is the switch to whole wheat flour. It gives these a slightly more dense texture that holds on to the chocolate a bit better. Other than that, I cut back on the sugar and varied the types of chocolates (yes, there are two).

I made a double batch to take advantage of the abundance of zucchini at the farmers’ market, and I couldn’t have done it without my KitchenAid Mixer’s shredder attachment. Not only did it create the bowl of finely-shredded chocolate in the first picture, but it also ground up three large zucchinis with minimal effort. My beautiful, shiny, blue KitchenAid mixer, with its fun and fancy attachments, is my kitchen’s superhero. Well, it and my husband, who does all the dishes. But I digress. The shredder is so handy when you need a large amount of something grated, like you do in this recipe.

If you are using the old grate-by-hand method, your zucchini may be coarser than mine. That too will work out–just be careful with your measurements. I started with three large zucchini and ended up with about 4 cups shredded. Unless you are really packing your larger shreds (can that be a noun? it is now) into your measuring cup, I think you would want about 4 and 1/2, or even 4 and 3/4 cups (since I doubled the recipe, halve that for yours. Oy, the math is giving me a headache). As you are grating, make sure don’t lose the zucchini juice–it makes your muffins nice and moist.

Doesn’t this look like a huge mess? A note about doubling this recipe–it’s a LOT of batter. Before I turned the mixer on, the ingredients were cresting the edges of the bowl. I had to start mixing it in little spurts before the flour began to absorb some of the moisture and the batter level went down. Crisis narrowly averted! Save yourself from similar worries and just make one batch (unless you have the big commercial mixer, in which case I’d like to come play in your kitchen).

Chocolate zucchini muffins

Adapted from Bonnie’s recipe at the White Lace Inn, Sturgeon Bay, WI

  • 2 c finely-grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 c raw sugar
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely grated
  • 1 c mini semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and both chocolates in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (zucchini, oils, eggs) and mix on low speed until just combined and you no longer have clumps of dry flour.
  4. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease lightly with olive oil spray. Fill muffin cups with even amounts of batter, within about 1/3 to 1/4 inch from the top. The muffin tops will rise, but they don’t expand much beyond the shape of your muffin cups.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 18-20 minutes. When the muffins are finished, allow them to rest in their pans for about a minute before cooling on wire racks.

These taste great warm, just out of the oven, and the chocolate stays surprisingly soft even after they cool completely. Since I made so many, I froze about three dozen. Have I mentioned I’m on a mission to fill up the freezer with all the late-summer goodness at the farmers’ market? More on that to come.


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