Thursday, September 24, 2009

Staff Meeting Surprise: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars

Based on my recent posts, you may not believe it, but I do buy produce other than tomatoes at the farmers’ market. In fact, I did yesterday. I stopped by my local market on the way to work (alright, I went there intentionally to buy tomatoes). I made my tomato purchase and started to walk away, but turned back and also picked up some bright green zucchini that were staring at me. Instead of roasting, grilling, or tossing the zucchini into a soup, I decided to bake with it.

A few weeks ago a colleague who regularly pawns off shares her baked goods at staff meetings brought in a zucchini cake that contained chocolate chips. I’m up for trying anything with chocolate. I got my hands on a copy of her recipe and gave it a whirl tonight. The recipe says that you can substitute nuts for the chocolate chips, but I don’t know why anyone would want to do that. In fact, I think it would be good with both. The frosting is more of a glaze, and while it's seasoned with cinnamon, there are several different variations you could do, or just leave it out altogether if you're looking for something less sweet.

These are quite good, and an untrained taste bud might not even notice the zucchini in these! They are a fun treat for brunch, dessert, or your next staff meeting!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars
¾ Cup butter, at room temperature
½ Cup brown sugar
½ Cup granulated sugar
2 Eggs, at room temperature
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ Cup flour
¼ Teaspoon salt
1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
2 Cup shredded zucchini
1 Cup shredded coconut
1 Cup mini chocolate chips (or substitute chopped walnuts/pecans)

Preheat oven to 350° F degrees.

Cream butter; add sugars gradually, add eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini, coconut and nuts/chips. Spread in greased 15x10x1½ inch pan. (You can use a 9x13 inch pan and it will come out thicker and a bit more cake-like.)

Bake for 40 minutes (check and bake a little longer if in 9x13 pan). Cool completely and then frost.

Cinnamon Frosting
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 ½ Tablespoons milk
1 ½ Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 Teaspoon vanilla
½ Teaspoon cinnamon

Beat until smooth. Spread on bars.

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