Yes, I know, the first two words in this recipe’s title basically negate the entire nutritive value of the third. But if you have to feed your family something for breakfast, and if they’re going to whine and nag at you no matter what you make anyway, then you might as well make something everybody wants to eat, right? Of course right. Because now the whining and nagging revolves not around eating breakfast in the first place, but stopping after just two muffins. And while that’s still annoying– and comes with a host of shouting things like GET OUT OF THE FRIDGE! PUT THOSE MUFFINS DOWN! YOU’VE HAD THREE!– it feels, momentarily, like an improvement.
Hey, remember that time I made my whole family go no sugar? Yea, these muffins are definitely not from that time.
I used to think that chocolate chips didn’t belong in muffins. As a kid I had one too many of those double-chocolate Costco muffins, contributing to my being a 4th grader with the BMI of a Freshman linebacker. When I grew up and discovered healthier eating, I disdained the trans-fatty chunks outside of actual dessert and, you know, “granola” bars. Muffins should not be cupcakes in disguise, I decided. Muffins should be healthy, hearty, preferably bran-y, and just all around “muffiny.”
Then I grew up, got married, and lo-and-behold my new husband had a lot less enthusiasm for low-sugar bran muffins than I did. So I added some chopped dark chocolate, and voila! He was eating breakfast without complaint. Then someone introduced me to a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin. I have never looked back.
Recently (thanks to Catholic Mama Meg!) I received a recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins. Then I rediscovered a handwritten recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake from an old friend and coworker of mine. They inspired me, and here is what resulted.
There aren’t very many photos this time, because I think you really ought to be using your imagination.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Makes 24. As usual.
Necessary: a grater. Two standard muffin tins and something to line or grease them. An oven at 350⁰F.
Handy-Dandy: a fly swatter, to hit the kids away from the bowl.
1/2 cup neutral oil (I used grapeseed)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup each milk and Greek yogurt, any kinds. (I used 2% milk and fat-free Greek yogurt.)
1 & 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice
a few dashes of nutmeg and cloves*
2 cups flour. I used 3/4 cup white all-purpose and 1 & 1/4 cup white whole wheat…only because I ran out of all-purpose.
1 largish zucchini. Aim for 2.5 cups grated veg.
3/4 cup chocolate chips
*If you aren’t feeding kiddos, I dare you to try a few dashes of cayenne, too.
Method to the Madness
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Grate your zucchini and set aside. Get your muffin tins ready however you like them. I grease mine.
- Mix milk, yogurt, vanilla, eggs and oil in a small bowl.
- Whisk flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking powder and spices together in a large bowl.
- Pour liquids over dry ingredients and stir gently. When mostly combined, stir in grated zucchini. Finally, add your chocolate chips. Take a deep sigh.
- Spoon your batter into muffin tins. This is a thin batter; it’s like commercial cake batter in texture.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Don’t overcook, or they will be dry. I always use the finger-tip test described in my beloved 1976 edition of The Joy of Cooking. If the cake top springs back gently when you depress it with your fingertip, it’s done.
Warning: Control these tightly if you want them to last. See note about that fly swatter.
This monster tried to snatch a bite while her baby sister posed for a pic.
These are the pirates who crept into the kitchen and STOLE seconds right under my nose. I caught them gloating in their hide out.
And Boo grabbed a third when I was upstairs and he literally shoved the whole thing in his mouth as soon as I caught him. But really the joke’s on him, because it’s full of zucchini.