Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins

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Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins
One of my all-time favorite breads is my mom's zucchini bread. It's sweet, moist and loaded with garden-fresh zucchini. The other day I was craving something chocolaty for a late afternoon snack and I realized that I had a few extra zucchini laying around. I didn't want to bake anything that would require frosting, but I did want it to be a little decadent. So I decided to make some muffins that incorporated both chocolate and zucchini. I had the first batch of these in the oven and when it occurred to me that I forgot to add the sugars! Yep, we'll blame that one on my "pregnancy brain."I immediately pulled them from the oven and tossed them. A sad day indeed. Thankfully I had another zucchini on hand so I started over, this time being really careful to remember the sugars. I did. In my attempt to be slightly more healthy (slightly because this is a chocolate recipe), I used 1 c. all-purpose flour and ¾ c. whole wheat flour. The recipe below uses only all-purpose (for convenience), but I must say, the chocolate does a great job of masking any wheaty flavor that you might otherwise be able to detect (side note: my favorite brand is King Arthur Flour Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour, in fact I use a lot of their products and get great texture and taste in my baked products). Anyway, these muffins turned out great! I ate three within about 15 minutes! No joke. There's something about the zucchini that convinced me that it was ok to keep eating more... or maybe it was all of the gooey chocolate bits ;) I'll let you decide!

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins
1¾ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ c. oil
½ c. sour cream
½ c. milk
1 egg
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. grated zucchini, pressed to remove moisture
½ c. chocolate chunks + ¼ c. for on top (one 4oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or lightly spray one standard size muffin tin, set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugars and oil for 30 seconds. Add sour cream, milk, vanilla and egg, mix until just combined.
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add dry ingredients until the mixture becomes smooth and no flour pockets remain.
4. Remove bowl from stand and fold in zucchini (I used the smaller "cheese" holes on my grater for the zucchini, the large ones would have been too thick and chunky) and chocolate chunks. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each ¾ of the way full. Top with additional chocolate chunks.
5. Place in oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until the tops spring back. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Life Made Simple Original Recipe | Makes 12 standard size muffins

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