Sunday, April 15, 2012

Zucchini-Oatmeal-Chocolate Bars

It's been a long time since any chocolate dessert was posted on this blog. You might be thinking that I'm not a choc-o-holic and that's simply not true. The sounds of a bar dessert with chocolate and zucchini was intriguing since it's not a combination I'd yet tried. I followed the recipe almost to a T, skipping the final chocolate drizzle.

Zucchini-Oatmeal-Chocolate Bars
Cooking Club of America
click to print

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c packed light brown sugar
6 tbsp canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c shredded zucchini (5 oz.)(1 to 2 small)
1 c chocolate chips, divided
3/4 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Toast some walnuts on a baking sheet for 6-9 minutes or until browned and aromatic, cool, and chop, if you haven't already.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

Beat brown sugar and oil in large bowl at medium speed until smooth.

Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla; beat until creamy.
It's really runny!

Stir in flour mixture.

Stir in zucchini, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, oats and walnuts. Spread in pan.

Bake 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 24 pieces.

I thought the zucchini would stand out more. I really thought the zucchini-chocolate combo would make me swoon, but nope. Is that why I've heard zucchini and chocolate go well together, like a "guilt-free" chocolate fix because something healthy is thrown in but it's almost completely disguised? If there were no little green flecks throughout, I'd have only wondered how the heck the bars were so ridiculously moist.

Shortly after baking, the bars were so soft and moist I had a hard time getting the initial one out of the dish without squishing it into a warm little chocolatey mess. Even after cooling completely, the bars were sticky with moisture, which required finger licking and wiping. Not that it's a bad thing. While I would've liked them to have more oats and maybe even more nuts to give them a chewier profile, I didn't miss the chocolate drizzle I'd opted to skip.

The big question: would I make these again? I wouldn't rule them out, after all none of them went to waste, but there's too many desserts out there that might offer a real flavor explosion. This one just doesn't fall into that category. And I don't feel guilty about eating chocolate to relegate myself to one with vegetables in it.

  • flour: $0.17
  • brown sugar: $0.52
  • canola oil: $0.19
  • eggs: $0.50
  • vanilla: $0.07
  • zucchini: $0.55
  • mini chocolate chips: $1
  • oats: $0.15
  • walnuts: $0.70
Total: $3.85, round up to $4 for salt, baking soda, cinnamon, comes out to $0.16 for each of 24 bars.