05 September 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

During my weekend at the cottage my grandmother had made some fantastic breaded zucchini the night before I arrived. It was so good. Perfectly seasoned, lightly battered, and the zucchini itself was actually sweet. I could eat that zucchini everyday for the rest of my life. So when my grandmother offered the sibling zucchini for me to take home I couldn't resist. She warned me that it was a rather large but I wasn't prepared for what I would find. There's a good chance that this zucchini originated at the top of a beanstalk (was the Giant's garden made of clouds or something?).

I definitely wanted to make something with it and I went looking around for recipes. There are plenty of zucchini recipes around right now; most are breads, muffins and the like but I kind of felt like something a little different. Looking through my bookmarks I found a recipe for zucchini cookies and I was instantly intrigued. The problem with most zucchini bread recipes is that the zucchini is typically used only for volume and moisture. It will keep the bread moist, and might add a bit of texture but usually won't add any flavour. Chances are you are going to end up with a spiced cake with flecks of green. I was hoping that because this was a cookie I would get a different result.

This recipe is basically an oatmeal cookie with zucchini replacing a little of the butter; and it comes together quickly enough if you have a food processor to grate the zucchini. I even added a little more zucchini to try and maximize the flavour but unfortunately when it was time to taste I was disappointed once more. The cookie was a moist and chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookie with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, but that's all it was. Just like a zucchini bread, other than the little specs of green it would be difficult to differentiate between these and another chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. Though it is true that the zucchini is what makes these cookies soft, chewy and moist, this same result could be accomplished without it. What you have here is a lower fat spiced oatmeal cookie with a slight nutritional boost. Don't get me wrong these are good cookies and are worth a try if you have a zucchini lying around, but I wouldn't rush out to buy one specifically for this recipe.

Despite my disappointment in the zucchini flavour, as a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie these are perfectly fine. Not the best, but good. Perhaps I need to give up on this fantasy of a zucchini recipe where I can taste the zucchini. It's possible the flavour is just too mild. Granted it's always good to have a recipe that can use leftover zucchini as it seems people love to give away abnormally large zucchinis this time of year (commonly under the guise of a "gift"). However, the next time my grandmother offers me one I might decline. You tend to draw a lot of attention when you're driving around with a zucchini strapped to the roof of your car.


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Yields approx 2 1/2 dozen cookies -- I got 29 with this cookie scoop

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (163g)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/3 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup golden yellow/light brown sugar (110g)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (57g)
1/4 cup sugar (50g)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and whisk to combine.

In the medium bowl of a mixer cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla and beat until completely combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients until incorporated.

Fold in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden.

Allow to cool on cookie sheet for one to two minute before moving to rack to cool completely.

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