Zucchini Chocolate Muffins

We’re heading out of town this weekend on a road trip and looking for a killer line-up of treats to sustain us for close to seven hours along the highways of the Central Valley. The unsuspecting squash averse will be none the wiser as they tuck into these double-chocolate gems (mum’s the word).  The zucchini and buttermilk create a moist, tender crumb, and who would argue with chocolate chips? They’re also eggless—if there are any allergies you need to work around.

If you enjoy these muffins, you might also be interested in their distant cousin, our favorite Chocolate Beet Cake.  Yeah, you read that right.  It’s another well-kept secret.

Makes twelve muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated summer squash
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a muffin pan that holds 12 muffins, with paper liners—or lightly oil.
  2. Sift flours, baking soda and powder, salt, cocoa powder and spices together in a bowl.
  3. Mix buttermilk, sugar and oil in a large bowl.  Add vanilla and squash.  Mix well.
  4. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake on the middle shelf for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean.
  5. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes, then carefully remove muffins from the tin.
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