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Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

Welcome to my new summer chocolate obsession…Fudgy Zucchini Brownies!

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

To be honest, I haven’t had much of an appetite for sweets this summer. It’s just been too hot (and we’ve already talked about being under the weather for most of the season.) But, there was just something about these brownies that got to me.

I didn’t actually think you could make Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. Most of the zucchini flecked brownies I’ve seen are actually more like cake, masquerading as brownies. When I saw this recipe on King Arthur Flour, and then I saw that you don’t even have to grate the zucchini…I was sold. (Do you hate grating things? I do.) In any case, it became a must try.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

We love zucchini. It’s so versatile. Of course, we love all the chocolate things made with zucchini, like one of my favorite chocolate cakes, Chocolate Turtle Zucchini Cake. But we like non-chocolate options too like White Zucchini Cake. We love roasting it and eating it with pasta like we did here and here. We really love grilling it! It’s mouthwatering as a Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stack.

I wasn’t particularly looking for a brownie recipe. I have my current “go to” that I love, Black Cocoa Brownies, but I happened to have a boatload of zucchini to use up and it was a good time to try something new. I was intrigued by how fudgy they looked. Now, I spent a lot of time testing out brownie recipes when I was searching for the perfect fudgy, chewy, cakey texture. Black Cocoa Brownies are the best I’ve found yet and I’m still playing around with that recipe to see if I can make it even better. Today’s recipe is not related to my ultimate brownie odyssey. This recipe falls into the category of other brownies that I love. One thing I’ve learned about getting to the ultimate recipe of anything is that there’s lots of stuff to love along the way.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

This recipe is a one bowl deal…your food processor bowl that is. All you have to do is cut your zucchini into chunks and throw it in the food processor.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes

Add your eggs, melted butter and vanilla…

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

And process it until it’s smooth.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

Then add all of your dry ingredients and process just until combined. Finally, you’ll add the chocolate chips and process again to break them up into smaller pieces. The smaller pieces make for a better texture in the final baked brownie.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

Pour it into a pan and bake. Super easy! I let mine cool and then refrigerated them for nice clean cuts.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

This was a totally different kind of brownie for me. I don’t usually make fudgy brownies. I like them. I mean, they’re chocolate right? But I love sinking my teeth into a chewy cakey kind of brownie. This one was not chewy or cakey. The texture was fudgy, and in some ways, reminded me of a flourless chocolate cake, just more fudgy. The recipe is similar to Black Cocoa Brownies, but it has less than half the sugar, half the flour and less than half the fat. That’s what intrigued me.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

And guess what? I loved them! In this summer of not really being in the mood for many treats, this one got to me. I actually stored them in the refrigerator and we ate them cold. The original recipe tops them with a ganache, but I left them plain. I wanted simplicity. I loved that they weren’t super sweet. They are rich with chocolate flavor, but they don’t feel like a killer splurge and aren’t super rich so you don’t feel weighed down after eating one. I hadn’t planned on blogging about them, but I loved them too much not to share. So I had to make another batch, just for you.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

I was overwhelmed with zucchini the first time I made them. When I decided to make them again for you, there was no zucchini in the CSA box and my garden had none to give :(  Ugh! I had to go buy a zucchini! In the summer! It just seemed wrong when just a short time ago I was drowning in them!

I actually used a yellow squash the first time and then regular green zucchini the second time. So if you have a bunch of zucchini or summer squash hanging around, you should put this on the list of things to do with it. If you don’t, go buy a little squash so you can make these brownies. Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. No grating, one bowl, quick work with a food processor and yeah…it’s still ridiculously hot around here and yes, I did have to turn my oven on to bake these fudgy bars.

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies. A super fudgy brownie that mixes up easily in your food processor! Lower in sugar, flour and fat than many traditional brownie recipes.

#sacrifices ;)

 

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

Servings 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces zucchini about one 8" fresh zucchini, trimmed, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For easiest removal, line a 9" square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Chop up zucchini into chunks and place in food processor along with melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Process until smooth.
  3. Add sugar, cocoa powder, espresso, baking powder, flour and salt. Pulse a few times just until combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and pulse several times to break the chips up a little.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. If you have a lot of air bubbles, drop (or firmly tap) the pan on the counter a few times to pop them and release excess air.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached to it. There should be no wet batter clinging to the toothpick.
  7. Allow to cool. Use the foil to lift them out of the pan, then cut into squares. Or, allow to cool, refrigerate until cold and then cut into squares.

Recipe Notes

*I've said it many times but different cocoas will produce different flavors. One of my favorite cocoas to use is Double Dutch Dark Cocoa For this recipe, I used Bensdorp Cocoa. Love 'em both. You can use regular unsweetened cocoa, but I love the flavor that Dutch process cocoa provides.

*You can use zucchini or yellow squash in this recipe.

*I tried both semi-sweet and bitter sweet chips and preferred the semi sweet. You could also use milk chocolate chips, if you're looking for more sweetness.

*Processing the mixture does create air bubbles in the batter. You'll see little holes on the surface of my baked brownies from the bubbles that popped in the oven. (A couple are just from my testing toothpick.) I should have dropped the pan on the counter a few times to release them. I've added that step to the instructions. If you decide to frost the brownies, you won't see them anyway.

*If you don't have a food processor, you can puree the zucchini and wet ingredients in a blender, pour it into a bowl, then stir in your dry ingredients.

*You don't have to store these in the refrigerator, but I really like them cold. For the best cuts, cut cold brownies with a hot knife. I just let my knife sit in a tall mug of hot water for a minute or two, then wipe it dry and cut. I reheat it in the water every couple of cuts wiping the blade with a paper towel after each dip in the water.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour