Friday, July 27, 2007

Zucchini brownies

Nothing like a good meal prepared by a friend who’s a far superior cook when you’re adjusting to life with two kids. Our friend Grace brought us a tasty chicken, broccoli and pasta dish seasoned with fresh rosemary from her garden and a salad with mixed greens, dried cranberries, tomatoes and carrots. And to top it all off there was an unexpected dessert: zucchini brownies. Wow, were they good.
Will, who declines zucchinis when they come sautéed, boiled, steamed or camouflaged in casseroles, dug right into these chocolate-chip-covered delights. The truth is, though, that while there may be a couple cups of shredded zucchini to help you see this as a healthy dessert, you really just need to try this recipe because it’s so much tastier than plain old chocolate brownies. Grace’s four-year-old daughter, Ella, may have added her own special touch to the desserts as she helped her mom measure and stir the ingredients.
Here’s the recipe with Grace’s notes about how she altered it along the way. Happy baking:

Zucchini brownies
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini (I bet you could use squash and maybe carrots)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar (I used less - about 1 1/4 cup)
1 cup vegetable oil (I used less - about 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla (I used more - about 1 1/2 tsp)
12 oz chocolate chips (I used less - just enough to cover top)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I omit since we don't use nuts in our house)

Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl, stir well. Combine zucchini and butter; add to flour mixture. Stir well. Combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla; add to mixture. Stir 2 minutes. Pour into greased 15 x 10 inch pan; top with chocolate chips (and nuts if you are using). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (I found it took longer to cook). Test center to see if "cake" like. Yield: 32 brownies.

Do you have a yummy, kid-friendly recipe to share? Please post.

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