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Monday, September 8, 2014

Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Zucchini

Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Zucchini #OXOGoodCookies
As if the fact that they are studded with zucchini, white chocolate, and walnuts weren't tempting enough, these cookies also have the fudgy, chewy texture of a brownie. Let's just call that double-your-pleasure.

I've mentioned this before, but I thought it was worth saying again—I have some pretty great neighbors. For many reasons, but why I bring it up now is because of our little "food trade system" we've fallen into over the years. For the most part, they share raw produce and I share prepared food. This would be because they tend to their garden and even forage for mushrooms once a year, while I seem to spend all of my time in the kitchen developing and testing recipes.

They hand over large bags (seriously) of produce, and I come back at them with jars, boxes, and plates of jams, preserves, breads, and other baked goods. It's a fairly great system. I like to offer up  goods from my "wild garden" like grapes, mint, chamomile, compost squash, and wild garlic, but lately that's all I seem to have since time is something I'm always chasing and rarely catching up with. I've never been fond of running.

What's that have to do with these cookies? A mammoth of a zucchini showed up at my door last week (along with copious amounts of other goodies), and it's been staring me down ever since. I sliced and grilled half of it, but decided that I wanted to use the other half for baking.
Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Zucchini #OXOGoodCookies
Since I'm partnering with OXO as part of the #OXOGoodCookies campaign again this year, I knew that zucchini was going to make its way into a batch of cookies. I was teetering back and forth between a zucchini bread cookie and a zucchini brownie cookie. As you can see, the brownie version won out. I went in with these zucchini brownies in mind, and just transferred the flavors to cookie form. In hindsight, the zucchini bread cookies probably would have been prettier, but if you close your eyes, you'll never know these aren't lookers.

I wasn't really hiding the zucchini since the kids knew it was in there, but it is a great way to add veggies to your kids diet on the down-low, should that be something you want (need?) to do. And come on, it's so much easier to justify that extra cookie when you can argue that you're just eating your veggies.

Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Zucchini
Fudgy, chewy cookies studded with zucchini, white chocolate, and walnuts that have the texture of a brownie.
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Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Zucchini
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian soy-free chocolate zucchini walnuts cookie American

Ingredients (3-1/2 dozen)
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons / 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (baking chocolate), chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped (or use chips)
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess liquid (see note)
  • 3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or dark, semisweet, milk - you choose)
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans, optional
to serve:
  • powdered sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine butter, unsweetened and semisweet chocolate in the bowl of a double-boiler (bowl set over a pot of water, not touching that water). Cook and stir until everything is smooth and melted. You could also do this is a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 90 seconds, then stir. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until everything is melted and smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.
melting chocolate and an OXO spatula
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
OXO measuring spoon and cup sets - interlocking with a straight edge
Toss the squeezed zucchini in the mixture until well coated; set aside.
shredded zucchini in OXO measuring cup
Combine the eggs, yolk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale, ~2 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredient/zucchini mixture until combined. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Drop mixture by 1-1/2 tablespoon portions onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between each.

Slide the sheets into preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
OXO Red Cookie Spatula
If you like, sift some powdered sugar over the top after they've cooled. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.

It's important to squeeze as much moisture from the zucchini as possible. You can do this by hand; just pick up a bit at a time and squeeze over the sink until you can't get any more liquid out. You could also use a clean, thin kitchen towel (no fuzzies, more like a thin tea towel or flour sack material) or a double layer of cheesecloth. Place the zucchini in the center, then fold over the edges to enclose. Twist the two outer edges (like a twisted candy wrapper) until you can't get any more liquid to come out.
Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Zucchini #OXOGoodCookies
OXO tools used in this recipe:
  • Medium Cookie Scoop: Have you always wondered how people get their cookies to look so uniform? If so, you're not using a cookie scoop to make drop cookies. Change that pronto, you won't be sorry. This one holds 1-1/2 tablespoons, but OXO also offers larger and smaller options.
  • Cookie Spatula: This little spatula is heat resistant to 600° F with an angled handle that means your hands are up and away from the food and heat, a rounded corner that is works for scraping dough from spoons, and it's small enough to lift cookies from a crowded sheet without mangling them (bonus!).
  • Baker's Dusting Wand: Quite simply, this is my new favorite kitchen gadget. With the twist of the handle, the wand opens up and you can fill it with flour, powdered sugar, or spices. Twist it closed then simply give a flick of the wrist and a perfect dusting showers from the holes. You may just find excuses to dust everything in sight.
  • 3 Piece Spatula Set: I am of the mind that one can never have too many spatulas. These are great because they are flexible, heat resistant up to 600° F, and safe for use in non-stick pans. Plus the different shapes and sizes mean you have a spatula for every job!
  • 6 Piece Measuring Cup Set: These measuring cups snap together for easing nesting and storage. They have color-coded easy-read measurements on the side, each cup has a handy "half measure" line, and they have a hook in case you need hanging storage. But my favorite feature is the simple scraper that snaps to the cups—because scooping and leveling is where it's at.
  • 7 Piece Measuring Spoon Set: These have the same features as the measuring cups above, but in spoons form.

If you're buying an OXO product, watch for this sticker! For every stickered item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000* pledge to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Look for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers in September.

* In 2014, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids' Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

OXO is donating $100 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer for this blog post! To learn more and follow along, you can follow OXO and Cookies for Kids' Cancer via social media - look for the #OXOGoodCookies hashtag!

twitter: OXO | Cookies for Kid's Cancer
instagram: OXO | Cookies for Kid's Cancer
facebook: OXO | Cookies for Kid's Cancer
pinterest: OXO | Cookies for Kid's Cancer

I received an OXO Drop Cookie Set at no charge for the purpose of participating in OXO for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. All opinions stated in this post are my own. 

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Chocolate Chip Shortbread Brownies
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Brownies {#OXOGoodBrownie}

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies + All the Good Cookies (Cookies for Kids' Cancer cookbook)