What’s your perfect afternoon? Can you remember it? Can you taste it? Perhaps Zucchini Bread isn’t the first flavor that comes to mind. However, every time I think of that deliciously green loaf, sometimes studded with chocolate chips, I am reminded of a quirky country kid (okay – he was from Pennsylvania) and a flawless afternoon spent in a corner coffee shop in Charlottesville, Virginia.
My senior year romance (let’s call him FWJ), had a talent for surprises – quick kisses in pottery class, spontaneous road trips on the weekend, late nights laying on the campus grounds talking about everything. On a particularly beautiful autumn morning, we decided to take a drive and found ourselves an hour west in Charlottesville. We spent our morning chasing each other through apple orchards, walking hand in hand through the farmer’s market, and playing chess while sipping coffee and sharing a decadent slice of chocolate chip zucchini bread.
The boy was captivating and the bread was other worldly. Could it have been love? Certainly not with the guy. He was charming, attractive and deeply romantic – but eventually he ghosted me. We ended up screaming at each other in a parking lot and then exchanging awkward smiles at graduation.
The bread? That was love. It’s moist, earthy and just sweet enough. It is perfect dunked into a mug of coffee while gazing into the eyes of your beloved or eaten straight from the pan, with a fork, alone, with the blinds drawn – I’ve done both. Here’s my recipe:
As always – get all your ingredients together (full list below). You’ll need two loaf pans as well.
Let’s get this zucchini going. You won’t need to peel it but be sure to give it a rinse first. Then grate it. You can use a box grater with large holes or a food processor with a grater disc. I did the food processor because I was feeling lazy. Set the zucchini aside.
Next whisk together the oil and the sugar until fully incorporated.
Add the eggs to the sugar/oil mixture and stir to combine.
Whisk in the vanilla.
Add the grated zucchini and stir in until evenly distributed.
Now for the dry. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Add your dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and mix until you have a nice smooth batter.
It’s pretty right?
Add your chocolate chips – I used dark chocolate morsels because it felt right. You can use semi-sweet too.
Here’s the finished batter. Isn’t it weirdly attractive? Divide the batter evenly between two loaf pans that have greased bottoms and place into a 350 degree preheated oven.
The bread should bake for about 50 – 60 minutes. I rotated my pans halfway through the bake time and then checked them at 45 minutes. They were nearly there. When the loaves are finished baking they should spring back to your touch. Another test is the old toothpick trick. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean (eh.. maybe a crumb or two) then they are finished.
Allow bread to cool completely in the pans, then invert them on a wire rack. Running a knife along the edges will help the process.
Slice and enjoy!
Coffee Shop Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
2 to 3 medium zucchini, shredded (3 cups)
1 cup canola or corn oil
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans and set aside.
If you haven’t shred your zucchini yet – do it. I do mine in a food processor with a grater disc attachment. You can also grate it with a box grater. Use the largest holes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in the zucchini. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture. Stir to combine but be careful not to over mix!
Next, stir in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Place in the oven.
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour – turning halfway through. You can test the doneness of the bread by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean the bread is ready!
Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges to loosen the bread and then invert onto a wire rack. Let the bread cool completely before slicing and serving.