With an excess of zucchini amassed from our gardens, my farm share and Saturday morning visits to the farmer’s market, Suzy and I knew last week’s cooking date would include zucchini as the star. We briefly pondered what simple and useful food to make on such a hot and uncomfortable summer day. Because s’more season was in full swing, there was plenty of chocolate in my pantry. So this became a natural second ingredient.
When Suzy suggested Chocolate Zucchini Bread, I agreed instantly. A double batch would include four loaves of bread — two for each of us. One of mine would make a perfect gift for a neighbor who just had a baby and Suzy’s extra one (tucked nicely in her freezer) would make an easy and healthy breakfast on her vacation at the beach.
Suzy took charge of grating the zucchini while I measured out the dry ingredients. She mixed everything together while I ran back and forth tending to the children. While the breads baked, we enjoyed a cup of coffee together, catching up on each other’s summer adventures. It was a minimal effort cooking date that put our overabundance of zucchini to good use.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Makes two loaves, or 6 mini loaves
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups white flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
½ cup apple sauce
3 ounces melted baking chocolate
1 cup chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, measure out the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder) and mix well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, blend together butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, chocolate and apple sauce. Gradually add the flour mixture. Blend in the zucchini and gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide evenly into bread pans that have been sprayed with baking spray or lightly greased with butter. Bake two at a time until cooked through for just under an hour.