Once again, Steve has had another successful garden season and we reaped the benefits of having an overload of zucchini to enjoy. He usually stores the zucchini in the fridge, then steams it and puts it into our lunches during the week. I had another idea for these green beauties and that was to use them in one of my favourite muffin recipes ever.
These dark chocolate zucchini crunch muffins are sorta healthy and sorta not. If you want to make them healthier, skip the crunch part and just make the muffin without the topping. But, if you’re like me, it’s usually all or nothing. The crunchy topping is what really sets these muffins apart from the rest. A basic streusel with the addition of dark chocolate chunks.
Now, I normally have a ton of 70% dark chocolate in the house in the form of a bar. I have no idea when I used the last bar. Oh wait. Yes I do. I made my pink sea salt chocolate chunk cookies recently so that’s where it went. Hmmmmm.
I rummaged through my pantry and found a package of these super dark chocolate chunks so I figured that they would be fine to use. My only issue with them was I was hoping they would get a little more meltier when I added them to the crunch part. They did not. Fear not, they were still good and who would notice the difference anyways? Chocolate is KING in any form.
And can we talk about the zucchini for a second? You will never know it’s there. You might even be able to hide it from the kids or anyone who hates vegetables in their baked goods by simply peeling it so the green doesn’t show up. I left mine on and no one complained. In fact, they made their way to various taste testers in the neighbourhood and I received the thumbs up on these babies.
I bet you’re going to ask me this so I will jump ahead and answer this question. YES, this recipe can be made into a zucchini bread. The baking time just needs to be adjusted and I will give you the option in the recipe below.
These are the moistest, most flavourful muffins I have ever made. With the addition of all the zucchini and other wet ingredients, you are going to yield a bumper crop of yumminess in muffin form.
- Brown Sugar Chocolate Crunch Topping
- ⅔ cup quick oats
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold
- ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate or semi sweet chunks, chips or bar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup oil
- ¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 1 cup grated zucchini, squeeze out the liquid
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup dark chocolate or semi sweet chunks or chips
- Preheat oven to 425F for muffins or 350F for a LOAF. Line a 12 cup muffin pan or grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and set aside.
- Make your crunch topping by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour together in a bowl. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or you can use your hands until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Incorporate the chocolate last and mix with a spoon or use your fingers to toss. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together egg, both sugars, oil, applesauce, zucchini and vanilla until well combined. In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chunks or chips together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Scoop batter evenly into the muffin tin or into your loaf pan. Divide the crunch topping evenly amongst each muffin OR sprinkle on top of the loaf batter. Press it lightly into the batter.
- IF you are making the muffins, bake them for 5 minutes at 425F then turn the oven temperature down to 350F. Bake an additional 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean. If you are making the loaf, bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes and once again do the toothpick test, Cool either the muffins or the bread on a wire rack completely.