Home sweet home! Miss T and I had a great time away from home but it is always sweet to come home. We had some fantastic “girl” time while down in Austin. Austin is a beautiful town, vibrant, busy, and earthy. This past weekend the music festival SXSW, which stands for south by southwest, was in full force. We saw some great music down by the lake on a couple of different occasions. A highlight of the Cult concert was seeing Matthew McConaughey up on stage playing the conga drums. People watching is always fun in Austin, politicians, hippies, hippie wannabes, dogs galore, college kids, little kids in their baby Toms and crocs, old, young and in-between, it’s one of my favorite pastimes when visiting our capital city. I want to clarify one thing, the Cult is not on my iPod, but I did enjoy the concert with my girls and a few friends.
I’m getting back in the swing of things here at The Orange Bee today and am ready to make good on my promise to post about a couple of delicious recipes I’d whipped up before heading south. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. We carried a tray of these with us and they made for some pretty good snacking in the car on the way down. These moist, cake-like muffins are full of rich chocolate goodness, crunchy pecans and as it is still “green” month, shredded zucchini. These tasty muffins are reasonably healthy too, unfrosted they make a delicious breakfast or snack and with frosting a yummy dessert. I frosted half and left the rest plain, both ways are equally as good. A touch of lemon and orange zest along with a bit of cinnamon keeps them from being too sweet but just right!
Chocolate – Zucchini Muffins
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 1/4 cups shredded zucchini
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
Juice from 1 orange
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
8 ounces Neuchâtel or cream cheese, room temperature
3 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
( divide this in half if you aren’t frosting all the muffins )
Preheat oven to 375*. Grease two 12 cup muffin tins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, and 2 tsp. of vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add yogurt and mix well. Whisk in the zucchini, lemon zest and half of the orange zest.
In a medium bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, whisking to aerate the mixture. Stir half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then add the other half and mix well. Fold in the nuts. Distribute the batter evenly among 24 muffin cups.
Bake on the center rack for about 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out to complete cooling.