Arts & Entertainment

Dorothy Dean presents: Zucchini brownies so good you won’t even know they contain a vegetable

Zucchini never tasted so good. The abundant summer vegetable makes for super-moist brownies. (Audrey Alfaro)

Our garden is at it again. Year after year, it mass produces zucchini.

Now, I’m not complaining. This is definitely a good thing. But it has me racking my brain and scouring the internet for new and creative ways to use it.

That’s how I stumbled upon zucchini brownies.

“Hmm … interesting,” I thought.

I’ve made zucchini breads and muffins. But throwing in brownies was new, a bit strange and totally intriguing to me. So I gave it go.

Looking over the recipe I was shocked there was no eggs involved and very little liquid, just half a cup of oil. After mixing all the ingredients together, my batter was dry. Like powdery dry.

But then something magical happened. The zucchini began to release moisture and pull the batter together. It was still a tad dry, but I knew while baking the zucchini would continue to work its magic (release more water) and create some version of brownies.

And, boy, did it ever!

The brownies were rich, fudgy and moist. Honestly, the best brownies I’ve ever had.

They’ve kicked my go-to brownie recipe to the curb and have officially became the only brownie recipe I will ever use. And, no, you can’t taste the zucchini at all.

While delicious on their own, I went and topped them with a chocolate ganache glaze, making them even more decadent. And the recipe calls for nuts, which you could of course skip, or replace with chocolate or peanut butter chips. And be sure not to drain or dry your grated zucchini. Use it just as is, as that’s the magical ingredient that makes these brownies so amazing.

Zucchini Brownies

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

For the brownies:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded zucchini, do not drain

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the glaze:

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Make the brownies: Mix the oil, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well combined. Batter will be dry. Fold in the zucchini and nuts. Allow batter to rest for 5 minutes. Stir and spread batter evenly into pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Brownies are done when a toothpick comes out clean, or with a few crumbs clinging to it. Set on wire rack to cool.

Make the glaze: Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream into small saucepan and heat on medium high, until edges just start to boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate chips. Allow to stand for 3-5 minutes, then whisk briskly to combine and until smooth. Let cool until thick enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon. Spread over cooled brownies and allow to set before cutting into squares.