Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Muffins

Today's blog post takes place in a new and different kitchen.  The past 3 weeks, Kristin has been up in her family's cabin in Vermont.  I was here with only the cat and plenty of end-of-term work for solace for the first two of those weeks, but then got to drive up to join her for a week.  While we were there, we made these fantastic muffins.

These muffins were a favorite breakfast item when I was a kid.  Kristin was a bit skeptical the first time I mentioned them, but now she specifically asks for them.  They're quick and easy, and not even all that terrible for you, since you get some vegetable matter in there.  At least, that's what I like to tell myself.

Kristin and I generally make these together - it's quite quick that way, since one person can grate zucchini while the other mixes, prepares the muffin tin/cups, et-cetera.  I highly recommend it.  

Astute readers should keep an eye out for a surprise in the photos.

Here's what you'll need!  All-purpose flour, white sugar, baking soda, salt, one egg, zucchini (a cup worth, though extra is fine), vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, cooking oil, milk (not pictured - oops!) and chocolate chips.  The recipe is pretty forgiving as zucchini goes - I've used both not-quite-ripe and quite-overripe and had fine results.

Also, if you're a crazy person who hates happiness, I guess you could leave out the chocolate chips.  But you don't hate happiness, do you?  I thought not.

It's the most exciting step of any baking process, with the most exciting photo to match - mixing together white powders!  Specifically, you'll start by mixing together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

So hey, we got one brown powder in there - not that you can really tell once it's all mixed.

In another bowl, combine your lightly beaten egg with the milk, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla.

If you've been putting it off, now is the time to grate the zucchini.  It's not the most fun process, but you only need a cup.  A small zucchini is often good for 1-1.5 cups of shredded zucchini.  The recipe happily tolerates up to about 1.5 cups, so if that's what you have, don't let it go to waste.  If you got a giant zucchini like we did this time around, it's a good time to think about making a double batch.

Did you notice the surprise?  Go look again.

Yep, Kristin is wearing a shiny new ring.  A shiny new ring that I gave her, no less.  We're engaged!

Amazingly enough, she was excited enough to show off the ring that she volunteered to grate the zucchini, provided I took a ring-featuring picture.  Clearly, this is a win-win scenario.

We ended up with a little over two cups of shredded zucchini, so we made a second batch of muffins later in the week.  I highly recommend this strategy.

Now that your zucchini is ready, we'll bring together all of the elements of the batter.  First, empty the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until they're just barely mixed.  We'll do plenty more mixing to catch any reluctant bits.

Now add the zucchini, and mix it through.

Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.  Don't overdo it on these.  Any more than 1/2 cup per batch and everything ends up all wonky.

Action shot!  Fill ungreased muffin cups about 1/2 full.  Kristin favors the double-spoon method - I, on the other hand, am awful at this method and would just end up making a mess.  If you're talented like she and don't spill all the batter, you should get about 18 small muffins per batch.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350.  They'll probably need another 5 minutes or so after that, but be sure to check after 20.

One of the best things about these muffins is that they smell fantastic after only a couple of minutes in the oven.  they'll only smell better and better as time goes on.  When they're just starting to color on top, pull them out and let them cool plenty before digging in.

Be ready to need another batch very soon.  These things are good.

Girlfriend tested - fiancee approved!

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 18 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour 
  • 3/4 cup Sugar 
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda 
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp Salt 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil 
  • 1/4 cup Milk 
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice 
  • 1-1.5 cups Zucchini, shredded 
  • 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin(s) with ungreased muffin cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a second bowl, combine beaten egg, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Grate zucchini into a small bowl.

Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir a few times.

Add zucchini and chocolate chips and mix until distributed.

Spoon batter into muffin cups 1/2 to 2/3 full, then bake 20-30 minutes until muffin tops have just begun to change color.

Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Getting engaged AND making muffins?? Best vacation ever!!