I've been baking!
First off, I made some zucchini muffins and they were really good. Maybe I just really liked them because all I usually ever make is banana muffins and these were different.
I almost always make my muffins mini size. They are great for kids and then I don't eat a whole big muffins. Of course, I had to throw a little chocolate in these! You could make these regular size or even make zucchini bread. I also like mini muffins because they take a lot less time in the oven than breads!
Zucchini Mini Muffins
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (If I wouldn't have been out of xylitol, I'd have used it instead of sugar)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (you could just use all applesauce and no oil, I wanted a little in these)
1/4 cup Egg Beaters w/touch of yolk plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/2 eggs)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (I used my Salad Shooter-so easy. A food processor also works well, but then, so does a good old hand grater!)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray mini muffins tins with cooking spray. Set aside.
In medium size bowl, mix together wet ingredients (sugars, oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla) Add zucchini and mix in. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl, sift together with a whisk, then add to wet ingredients. Mix with a spatula just until combined. Do not over mix. Lightly fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop tablespoonfuls in muffins tins and bake for about 12 minutes. This recipe made 30 mini muffins.
Next, I've been playing with chocolate chip cookies! Surprise. I have seen recently on a couple different blogs, brownies baked in cookie dough. So I've tried some different things to see what works best. I made up a half batch of the New York Times Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and used semi sweet chocolate chips (instead of disks), because I knew the chips weren't going to be the "star". This time it would be the brownies lurking throughout the cookie. And it WAS a STAR. If you like cookies and brownies, these are yummy, full of chocolate flavor and richness. For the brownies, I made half a batch of Anna's One Bowl Cocoa Brownies. These are such a simple go-to brownie. I think I've said it before, use this recipe to replace buying boxed mixes. I baked off the brownies in an 8x8 pan. After they cooled, I made teaspoon or so sized balls with the baked brownies, by squeezing it together in my hand and rolling it into balls. But thinking of the flat chocolate disks like Jacques Torres uses, I flattened the brownie balls slightly. I then froze these on a plate lined with waxed paper. I thought freezing would help in that I was worried about the brownie over baking in the cookie, since it was already baked. Whatever the case, this made some great cookies. I wrapped each brownie piece with cookie dough, rounded them up and baked them on a parchment lined baking sheet. The brownie was not over baked at all.
I tried different things, by then cutting the brownie pieces in to fourths and just making a bunch of smaller brownie pieces. I mixed them in with the cookie dough and baked them. They were neat looking.
I played around some more with the brownie cookies all day and will show you some more another day. It's late and I have to get up at 4:50 a.m. for a water aerobics class I've started taking. The first class was today and though I was SO tired and wondered what in the world I was thinking, it was pretty fun and seemed like a pretty good workout. I've been jogging for months and it seems to really be getting to my joints and bones. I'm hoping three days a week in the water will help. We jog in the deep water, basically treading water for an hour doing all kinds of aerobic exercises. I really need to get more sleep! More cookies to come. Stayed tuned also for some latest pictures of the boys.