Are you skeptical about adding vegetables to your desserts? I must admit for zucchini and avocado, I’m not. And I’m the first to be suspicious about adding strange ingredients to my meals. Maybe it’s because I love zucchini and avocado and can see there place in a dessert. Moreover, I had already tasted zucchini chocolate cupcakes which were totally delicious. My boyfriend hadn’t and he was doubting my mental health (or that I had another mental illness he didn’t already know about!) when I told him that I was going to do zucchini brownies. I’m joking, but I saw the doubt in his eyes in addition to his comments like “Yuck”, “Gross”, that he made “as jokes” . Well the brownies turned out so very delicious. The skeptical man was convinced, so will you! There texture was more like a boxed cake than a brownies though, but so very yummy anyway! And here is the Turtle twist I gave them!
Challenge : Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 14 oz caramels, unwrapped
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Garnish: about ten caramels and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 13 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper leaving an overhang on longer sides, set aside.
- In a stand mixer, combine sugar, vegetable oil, and flour, combine until mixture resembles wet sand. While mixing, on low, add cocoa, zucchini, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined.
- Spread half the batter in pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large microwave safe bowl, microwave caramels and whipping cream uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
- Pour caramel over partially baked brownie (wait until the brownies are quite set, longer than 15 minutes if you have to, else they will do like mine : caramel and brownies merged so I don’t have a layer of caramel) spread to edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the pecans. Drop remaining brownie batter by small spoonfuls onto caramel layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 cup pecans.
- Bake 33 to 36 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour at room temperature. Drizzle with melted caramel. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Lift from pan using the parchment paper overhang. Cut brownies into squares and serve. Store covered at room temperature.