Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This week has been..interesting, to say the least.  It started out with a 2am wakeup early Monday due to a fire in an apartment two sections down from us (our apartment complex is a series of buildings with 4 apartments in each).  I dismissed the pounding on the door as drunken college students and sought to go back to sleep.  But no, it was the police telling us to evacuate.  Not really understanding the situation in my half asleep state, I got the kitties into their carriers and left the apartment, leaving my keys and my wallet inside.  My priorities are at least pretty straight while still asleep; had our apartment actually burned down, it would’ve been pretty inconvenient to have my car sitting there without being able to leave, but it could’ve been remedied fairly quickly.  The kitties, however, could not be replaced.

We were able to go back into our apartment within about a half hour, once the fire company got the flames in control enough to know it wouldn’t be spreading to other buildings.  No one was hurt, except for the kids’ one kitty (smoke inhalation got her quick – so sad), and we were back in bed by 4:30.  We were lucky in that we had no damage whatsoever to our apartment; the buildings to the other side of the apartment that caught fire sustained smoke damage because of the connecting attic (our attic is on a different level from that building).  With only one shaken up kitty (and one kitten that was just happy to play, no matter the situation), I feel very lucky that we all came out unscathed.

The next day, I was running on four hours of sleep, so what did I do?  Baked.  It was just the sort of soothing activity I needed after such a crazy night.  I made these muffins, a loaf of the same recipe, and banana date tea cake.  The next night, I proceeded to sleep a full twelve hours.  It was heavenly.

While I wish we had zucchini coming out of our ears from a garden, that is sadly not the case, but for whatever reason, every time I buy zucchini, I end up needing to do something with it so it doesn’t go bad before we use it.  This time, it’s because we’re leaving for Pennsylvania for my cousin’s wedding, so I knew we wouldn’t get to it.  The same can be said about way too brown bananas.  The two loaves, I’m taking to PA with us, to share with family.  The muffins, though, went right into the freezer for breakfasts for school (which starts next week – yuck).

These muffins are rich with a deep chocolate flavor going on, without being overly sweet.  You can’t taste the zucchini, so don’t worry about that, if that sort of thing bothers you.  I especially liked these warm out of the oven, with the melty chocolate chips, but they’re just as good at room temperature.  I used olive oil in them, so they have a nice rounded out flavor from that.  I’ve always loved olive oil and chocolate together.

This is one of those muffins that you can totally have for breakfast.  I will never pass up having chocolate for breakfast, regardless.  But these only have some added sugar from honey – the rest of it, I used truvia.  Enjoy.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
makes 1 dozen
adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 cups zucchini, shredded (unpeeled)
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
10 packets truvia (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1 t vanilla
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t espresso powder
1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa
1 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Gently press the zucchini in a paper towel to remove excess moisture; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, olive oil, vanilla, and truvia together, until smooth.  Slowly stir in the dry mixture until just incorporated.  Gently fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each lined muffin tin.  Bake at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan slightly, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.