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Leftovers: Chocolate zucchini bread is a match made in quick carb heaven

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 8, 2021

This recipe for chocolate zucchini bread is loaded with zucchini, cocoa powder and chocolate chips.  (Courtesy of Julia Ditto)
This recipe for chocolate zucchini bread is loaded with zucchini, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. (Courtesy of Julia Ditto)
By Julia Ditto For The Spokesman-Review

These are divisive times, but I think there’s one thing that most of us have in common at this point in the season: We all have a forlorn zucchini or two sitting on our kitchen counter or hiding somewhere in the refrigerator.

Whether it was gifted to us by a desperate neighbor or plucked with exhausted delight from the bounty of our own gardens, there is no denying that zucchini is everywhere this time of year. If you have one or two languishing somewhere in your kitchen, you’ve probably had the thought to turn it into delicious zucchini bread, and I 100% support that decision.

But since you’re getting out the grater and mixer anyway, why not go a step further and turn it into chocolate zucchini bread? Somewhere in the gray area between a quick bread and cupcake, chocolate zucchini bread is loaded with zucchini, cocoa powder and chocolate chips, then topped with a sugary, crackly crust that bakes into flaky perfection in the oven. It never disappoints.

I recently baked a few loaves of this delicious take on zucchini bread and sent it with my daughter, who was going to visit her cousins for the weekend. Later that night, my usually mild-mannered brother-in-law texted me: “Chocolate zucchini bread?!?!?! Where has that been all my life?!”

It really is that delicious. When I make this recipe, I usually double it since my kids (and my husband and I – I’m not ashamed to admit it) inhale every last crumb in a couple of days. And now that school is back in session (can I get a hallelujah?), I need to have snacks at the ready at all times.

In the event there’s any left over, the loaves freeze beautifully in the freezer and can be pulled out whenever I need a quick snack for the masses. So, go ahead and introduce your vegetables to their new best friend, chocolate. It’s a match made in quick bread heaven.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Adapted from ourbestbites.com.

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup canola or vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ cup sour cream

3 cups shredded zucchini

¾ cup chocolate chips

Topping:

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans and set aside.

Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Pour the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Use a stand or hand mixer to beat the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until combined. Gently stir in the zucchini. Add the chocolate chips to the flour mixture and stir the flour mixture into the batter until just combined.

Pour the batter into the pans and sprinkle topping over each.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, keeping an eye on the loaves once the timer hits 45 minutes. When they’re done, a toothpick inserted near the center should come out without runny batter on it, and the tops should be cracked with sugar.

Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before running a knife along the edges and turning upside down to remove from the pans.

Cool at least 20 minutes more before slicing.

Julia Ditto can be reached at dittojulia@gmail.com.

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