Like locusts, only tastier

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They appear out of nowhere.  From seemingly anonymous sources.  And gather in unlikely places.  Office kitchens and doorsteps.  Like Christmas trees on the curb two days after New Years.  Once the focus of joyous celebration.  Now an overage in need of riddance.

That’s right, I’m talking about zucchinis in August.

I don’t know what it is about the green summer squash.  Perhaps they are the gremlins of summer; allow them to stay on the vine after July 31st and they multiply exponentially.  But man, those babies are everywhere.

I will admit, I’ve been slow to warm to squash of any sort.  I was well into adulthood before I came around to butternut squash (delicious) and I am still gathering courage to try the acorn variety.  And zucchini?  Forget about it.  Not my deal.  Aside from green beans, zucchini may be the only vegetable I actually dislike.

Unless, of course, it’s in a brownie. I found these lovelies at the Friday morning farmer’s market in Venice.

Any mention of the opportunity to bust out the food processor and I’m in.

My adaptation to this recipe include about 10 ounces of mini chocolate chips and a cup or so of toasted walnuts.

The batter will be kind of a beast.  But remember, brownies like a little neglect.  Fold-in the dry ingredients until just barely incorporated.

Into the pan you’ll wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.  Unless, of course, you like carrot cake.  Then you’ll know exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into.

While we’ll call these brownies, the texture really is more cake-like.  And yes, you can tell they’ve got zucchini in them.  This isn’t about hiding a vegetable so much as it is about enhancing it.

Soundtrack

Flight of the Condors.  Wearin’ my team building exercise t-shirt from ’99.

Zucchini Brownies

adapted from several recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated or baking sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and line a 9X13 pan with parchment.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat the first egg into the butter until completely blended, then beat in the vanilla extract with the last egg.
  4. Fold-in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and chocolate chips; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan, 25 to 30 minutes.

 

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