Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

In fall, I always wind up with far more zucchini than I know what to do with. I grate and freeze some to toss into spaghetti sauce and soup during the winter, and to add to muffins, loaves and chocolate cake. But it occurred to me that a chocolate zucchini cake batter would do just as well baked in muffin tins – the result? Moist, dense chocolate cupcakes that are perfect to frost for parties or pack in lunch boxes to send to school.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

adapted from Gourmet, September 2009

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 pound zucchini, coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350°F and position the rack in the middle.

2) In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer until thick and creamy; add flour mixture and stir by hand or beat on low speed just until incorporated. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.

3) Divide the batter among paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until tops are springy to the touch. Tip the cupcakes in their tins to allow steam to escape, then cool completely on a wire rack. If you like, frost with chocolate frosting.

Yield: Makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

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