Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Confession: I had never eaten zucchini in my life until this year when I started growing them…yes, I decided to grow them and I didn’t even eat them – but I knew they were easy to grow. I picked some seeds from Park Seed this time: “Poquito,” which my six years of Spanish helped me know basically meant “small.” They’re so cute! Full size zucchinis are just three to four inches, and they look like mini watermelons. Another nice feature: they don’t grow all at once – I’ve been harvesting one or two each week since mid-July off of about a half-dozen plants.

Poquito :)

Since I now have zucchini, I’ve become a chocolate chip zucchini bread fan – thanks to this recipe from QVC foodie David Venable. I made a few changes – such as using a wooden spoon instead of the stand mixer (because I didn’t feel like dragging it out!), but I’m pretty sure the result is the same – delicious!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/4 cup grated zucchini
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 325-degrees F. Lightly grease an 8” x 4” loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon; set aside. In another bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well-blended, then gradually add the dry ingredients until well-combined. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips, then pour batter into loaf pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After removing from oven, allow to cool in the pan for approximately 20 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Photos: Paula Thompson Freelance

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Like the Pizza Pull-Apart Rolls I featured a few weeks back, I found this recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough bites on Facebook. They’re really simple and the perfect way to get your cookie dough fix without the egg (we know it’s bad, but we still do it!).

copyright Paula Thompson Freelance

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/3 cup flour

2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars, then add remaining ingredients, mixing well.

Roll dough into one-inch balls, then refrigerate until firm (approximate 30 to 60 minutes).

Eat them as is, or dip in chocolate (I chose as is!). Store in the refrigerator.

*Author’s note: The original recipe said to let them stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving – I personally preferred them straight out of the fridge.