I like to think of myself as a friend of vegetable gardens. I do my best to help along struggling seedlings so they can survive the transition from greenhouse to the great outdoors. But over the weekend, it was Judgment Day for our yellow zucchini plants. We only planted two this spring, yet somehow they managed to double and go wilder than any of our other vegetables; their need to hog a garden bed left my already hail-scarred tomato plants and basil with little uninterrupted sun and even less equal water distribution.
Resolved to rectify the situation, the garden shears came out this Saturday, and down went the out-of-control zucchini vines. The plants didn’t go down without a fight, though. With their prickly skin and huge leaves, I managed to acquire nasty zucchini lacerations along my forearms before the plants gave up the ghost. Thanks for all the squash, zucchini plants. RIP.
I stored as many zucchini in the fridge’s produce bin as possible, but even the cold won’t keep these veggies for long. One of my colleagues at the office came to the rescue with today’s recipe, Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies. If you’ve ever doubted that zucchini and dessert can coexist, this is the recipe for you. Even after pressing the liquid from the zucchini, the cookies retain a melt-in-your-mouth quality that’s made all the better from the triple threat chocolate that’s added to the cookie dough.
I made these over my long weekend and brought them to work to share. They found happy homes within a day.
Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies
(a Mel’s Kitchen recipe)
Makes 28-32 two-inch cookies
– 2/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup (8 TBS) butter, softened to room temperature
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup shredded and drained zucchini (Start by grating 2 cups’ worth of zucchini. Once you’ve squeezed the majority of the liquid from the grated vegetable, you’ll find you have the 1 cup requirement.)
– 1 cup semisweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking pans with parchment paper or Silpat liner, or lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Melt the 2/3 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave (1-minute intervals at 50% power stirring in between taking care not to overheat) or in a double boiler on the stove until just melted. Set aside to cool to warm room temperature. (It only took about a minute for the chocolate to melt in my microwave.)
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together the butter and the granulated and brown sugars for 1-2 minutes until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix another minute or so. Stir in the zucchini.
5. Pour in the melted chocolate, and mix until well-combined.
6. Add the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips until everything is just incorporated.
7. At this point, I like to refrigerate the dough for at least 10 minutes to help it firm up before baking. Scoop the cookie dough into tablespoon or so sized balls and place about 2-inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
8. Bake for 10-11 minutes until just set. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to cooling rack until ready to eat. If storing, cool completely first.