Chocolate Hazelnut Zucchini Bread

I try to make at least one zucchini bread every zucchini season. What usually ends up happening is I buy what I think is a lot of zucchini expecting to use some of it for a zucchini bread, but then I get busy and by the end of the week I've eaten all the zucchini and have none left to bake with! This week I decided that it was time to ensure that I got to the zucchini for baking before it was all eaten up. I found a recipe for zucchini bread with walnut oil. I didn't have any walnut oil, but I did have some hazelnut oil leftover from a recipe that I need to use and so this was perfect choice. With some added chopped hazelnuts and dark chocolate chunks studding the batter, this was the a wonderful breakfast treat for the week, and something I would make over and over again. 

IMG_3072.jpg

The recipe is simple, and I made just a few changes to suit my needs. I cut the sugar in half because I prefer my morning treats be less sweet, and then I replaced half of the oil with yogurt to lighten it up, a bit but still maintain moisture and flavor. It baked up beautifully and full of flavor. The hazelnut oil scented the batter just enough, and the addition of chopped hazelnuts really helped this flavor shine. I ended up baking it for only about 40 minutes, as opposed to the 55 minutes originally called for, and was happy with that. Overall a perfect breakfast treat for zucchini season!

IMG_3053.jpg
IMG_3064.jpg
IMG_3071.jpg

Chocolate Hazelnut Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) hazelnut oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (84 grams) honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (160 grams) coarsely grated zucchini - about 1 medium-sized zucchini
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coarsly chopped ha
  • Turbinado sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions
Place an oven rack in the middle position of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat together the oil and honey. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and zucchini. Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (being careful to not over-mix) and add the chocolate chips. and hazelnuts. 

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with the turbinado sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool the zucchini bread in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 10 slices
Approximate Nutrition: 223 calories/slice

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

My sister served me this bread last week for breakfast and I enjoyed it quite a bit, so this weekend I decided to make myself a loaf. It's a wholesome chocolate banana bread made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt. When eating a breakfast bread, I like like having a nice thick slice; something I can really sink my teeth into. This bread is perfect for that. And topped with a little peanut butter for a little extra protein umph is my favorite way to finish it off! 

IMG_0682.jpg

I streamlined the original recipe here, just so I didn't have to use as many bowls! Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, the wet in another and mix them together. Done. I also did what I seem to always do and cut back on the sugar from 1/2 c honey, to 2 tbs honey + 2 tbs brown sugar (so 1/4 cup total). Feel free to double this for a sweeter and more indulgent bread. 

 
IMG_0675.jpg
IMG_0677.jpg
 

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Adapted from The Baker Mama 
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) milk
  • 1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe banana; about 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix with a spatula until mostly combined. Add in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks if using, and continue to mix until completely combined with no more streaks of dry flour in the batter. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Press more chocolate chips into the top of the batter before baking, if desired. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, turning halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely and serve.

Yields: 8-10 slices

Zucchini Cardamom Bread

Every year when I see the mounds of zucchini at the farmers market I have good intentions about using it in plenty of baked goods over the weeks. I've found in the past however, I end up just roasting it all up and eating it before it makes its way into anything sweet. This year I told myself that I had to do some baking. And then when I was at the zucchini stall I picked up how much zucchini I thought I would want for the week, and then I bought twice as much! No going back, no choice but to bake!

One of the first things I set out to make was a nice zucchini bread. When I saw a recipe for cardamom zucchini bread (with chocolate!) it sounded like a delightful twist on a traditional bread so I went for it. The cardamom adds a lovely floral note to the bread. The 1 teaspoon called for in this recipe is definitely a hefty amount of cardamom, so if you're not a huge cardamom fan, or you're not sure if you like cardamom, you can always add half the amount to start and see how it goes. But I recommend giving it a try. The cardamom mixed with the dark chocolate chunks is a wonderful combination!

This recipe has a good 1.5-2 cups zucchini (doesn't have to be exact), and is sweetened with a touch of honey. I'm always looking to cut back on the amount of sugar in my diet, so I halved the amount of honey in this recipe and thought it turned out just fine. I didn't find it compromised the quality of the finished product, but if you're not sure if the 1/4 cup of honey will be enough, go ahead and use 1/2 cup honey.

I also swapped out 1/2 cup of the flour for 1/2 cup oat flour because I love oats in my bread, and love how healthy they are. If you don't have any oat flour you can use all wheat flour. Finally, I replaced some of the oil in the original recipe with Greek yogurt. I always have Greek yogurt on hand, and I love baking with it. You can use sour cream instead, or you can just use the full 1/2 cup of oil instead and skip the yogurt. I made all these little changes for myself based on what I like, but you can certainly make it your own based on what you like. It may change the final product slightly, but in the end I'm sure whatever you come up with will be perfectly edible! 

 
 

Zucchini Cardamom Bread
Adapted from Dishing up the Dirt
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 medium-sized zucchini, or 1/2 of a large zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dark chocolate (I used 40 grams)
  • A few hefty pinches of turbinado sugar for topping

Directions
Place an oven rack in the middle position of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, honey eggs and vanilla, Stir in the zucchini. Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (being careful to not over-mix) adding in the chocolate partway through the mixing. 

Pour the batter into a lightly greased 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with the turbinado sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool the zucchini bread in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields: 1 loaf

Pumpkin Morning Glory Bread

Happy Sunday!! Need something for the week? I did. Carrots, pumpkin, warm spices, and toasty walnuts all come together in this fresh and fragrant quick bread. Two vegetables in one loaf and you wouldn't even know it. A little oil for richness, and a little molasses for subtle sweetness, it's the perfect combination. I've been wanted to make a morning glory bread or muffin for a while now but I never seemed to have carrots at the right time. Yesterday however, everything came together at the perfect moment to bring me this lovely loaf. I'm halfway through a two week stretch of nights, and this little bread is going to help get me through the final week. Having this to look forward to in the mornings at the end of a long night is going to be the perfect way to end the shift.

I found a nice looking recipe for a morning glory loaf of my pinterest board that has been hanging around for a while, but of course had to make a few adjustments based on my preferences and what I had around. The only thing I was missing that I didn't have anything to substitute for was dried fruit, raisins, or cranberries as the original recipe called for. That's pretty traditional in morning glory muffins but I just had to do without this time. I had all of the other important things though; carrots, coconut, walnuts. The original recipe called for applesauce, but I used pumpkin instead which worked like a charm, and then I threw in a few pumpkin seeds too since it seemed fitting. 

The recipe called for maple syrup as the sweetener, but since I was running a little low I decided to go with molasses instead. Baking up, this bread smelled amazing! Like gingerbread due to the molasses and spices. But don't worry, the finished product doesn't really taste like gingerbread, it's just fragrant with spices and a hint of rich molasses flavor. Each slice is soft and light and moist. Perfect on it's own, or jazz it up with a pat of real butter, or your favorite nut butter. Breakfast is served. 

 
 

Pumpkin Morning Glory Loaf
Heavily adapted from Wholehearted Eats
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) spelt (or whole wheat) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (84 grams) molasses (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (115 grams) grated carrots, about 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) coconut
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) raw pumpkin seeds
  • Turbinado sugar for topping, optional

Directions
Line a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. 

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. In another bowl combine egg, oil, pumpkin, molasses, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until halfway combined.

Stir in the carrot, coconut, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds and mix just until combined.

Pour the batter into a parchment lined pan. Sprinkle the top with some extra pumpkin seeds and turbinado sugar, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. 

Yields: 10-12 slices

 

Simple Buttermilk Cornbread

Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day here in west Michigan, almost 60 degrees and sunny in January - what?? Crazy, but simply wonderful! It felt like late spring which I am a big fan of. I took a walk with a light jacket and sunglasses and loved every minute of it! However, this is definitely NOT normal for late January and today it's back to reality. Wet, cloudy and cold. Sigh. 

One of my favorite parts of winter are all the stews and soups and braises that are the perfect thing for cold, damp days such as today. I think my favorite of all is a thick and jammy chili with ground beef and beans, peppers and spices and lots of tomato. Mmmm. I don't like my chili thin and soupy, I want it nice and thick, sweet and spicy and covered in melted cheddar cheese! And what is chili without cornbread? Sad is what it is. There is no question in my book that when chili is on the menu, cornbread is going in the oven.

I have several cornbread recipes on this site already and I love them all. Recently however I was looking for a very simple cornbread recipe that wasn't quite as rich and sweet as most of these other recipes. Just a good, basic cornbread that was full of corn flavor and more rustic than some. More on the "Southern cornbread" side of things. This recipe that I adapted from Bon Appetit was perfect. A little richness from the buttermilk and egg with a little bit of butter, and just a hint of sweetness from one tablespoon of brown sugar. This is a chili lover's cornbread for sure. 

I adapted the original recipe to fit a 6-inch cake pan. This is the perfect size for me when I'm baking for myself, but if you want to use a standard pan check out the original recipe. I used locally ground coarse cornmeal in my bread which is sweet and slightly crunchy and delicious. I highly recommend seeking out some good quality cornmeal, it's worth the effort. Now head into the kitchen and get that chili started, you have cornbread to make!

 
 

Simple Buttermilk Cornbread
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup (80 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (105 grams) stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoons (12 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 6-inch round pan. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together egg, and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Whisk egg mixture into dry ingredients until just combined (batter will be slightly lumpy). Mix in butter.

Scrape batter into baking dish and bake cornbread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25–30 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Bread

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the day with a community health worker in my home town. The day we spent together included a trip just outside of the city, out to the apple fields to check in on some of the migrant workers who were busy harvesting the yearly apple crop. It was the absolute perfect day; sunny and warm with a slight breeze. The trees were heavy laden with fruit and the apples were ripe for picking. Since apples are near the top of my favorite fruit I really enjoyed this day. Seeing how the fruit is picked and by whom. Watching the workers and their backbreaking work sure does put things into perspective. 

Probably the most exciting thing for me was that at one of the farms we stopped at the owner came by on his golf cart and handed us bags and told us to go ahead and pick as many apples as we wanted!! And the trees he directed us too? Yep, honeycrisp! I staggered home that evening with probably 20 lbs of honeycrisp apples, straight off the tree. I've been eating them daily since. They are the best apples I have ever eaten, crisp, sweet, juicy and amazing. I've now been ruined for life; there's no going back to those months old grocery store apples. I'll have to enjoy these while I can! 

With so many apples I knew I had to bake something right away. I went with a simple apple cinnamon bread. Nothing fancy, just apples, oats, cinnamon and yogurt. A wonderful combination, perfect for breakfast. One way to preserve the amazing bounty I was given. 

 
 
 
 
 

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Bread
Inspired by Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (50-55 grams) oil
  • 6 Tbsp (75 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 medium-size apple, peeled and cut into small dice or shredded

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs until the yolks break apart. Whisk in the yogurt, oil, sugar, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.

Stir in the oats, baking soda, spices, and salt. Spoon in the flour and give it a few stirs before adding in the diced apple. Fold everything together gently until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you find the top browning too quickly, make a little tent out of aluminum foil, and lightly place it over the top of the pan at around 25 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Snack Cake

 If you're a peanut butter fan (and let's be honest, who isn't? If you're allergic to peanuts I am very, very sorry), and you're looking for a fun baking project this week then I have just the recipe for you. This peanut butter snack cake is the perfect combination of tender, buttery cake mixed with the rich deliciousness of creamy peanut butter. The peanut flavor really shines through in this cake without being overwhelming, and the tender crumb of the finished loaf is delicate yet sturdy. 

I left my loaf plain and simple, but a handful of chocolate chips in the batter, or a drizzle of chocolate over the top once cool would no doubt be wonderful. Or if you're into the whole peanut butter and jelly thing, a swirl of homemade jam whirled into the batter right before baking, or a cup of fresh fruit  gently folded in would also be simply scrumptious. Customize to your hearts content!

I decided to halve the original recipe and bake my cake in a loaf shape, but the original recipe yielded a 7-inch double layer cake with chocolate frosting. So if that sounds more like your thing check it out at The Pastry Affair. A small loaf was just the perfect thing for me though. It baked up perfectly. I would say that you need to be certain to not over-bake this cake or it will turn out dry, and dry is never good. I always start out with a little less time on the timer than what the recipe calls for, that way you can be sure to check it out before it goes too long. Everyone's oven is a little different, so it never hurts to play it safe. 

 
 
 
 

Peanut Butter Snacking Cake
Adapted from The Pastry Affair
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • scant 1/4 cup (40 grams) granulated sugar
  • scant 1/4 cup (40 grams) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until uniform. Add the egg, beating well to incorporate. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth.

Transfer batter to loaf pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. You definitely don't want to over bake this cake or it will be dry. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.

Zucchini Oat Bread

Yes, that's right. I'm pulling out a zucchini bread recipe in January. I wanted to bake something to have for breakfast last week and just couldn't seem to decide what I wanted to bake. Then I remembered the bag I had seen stuffed at the back of my fridge a day or two previously; a bag of already shredded and measured zucchini leftover from the summer. This was too good to pass up, so I pulled it out of the freezer and decided on this recipe as it thawed. 

It was just the right choice for my baking indecision. This recipe turned out a deliciously dense and hearty zucchini bread that, sliced up nice and thick, was the perfect snacking loaf to accompany my morning cup of coffee. Just the right amount of sweetness to make it special without turning it into dessert combined with warm cinnamon and buttery walnuts. 

This loaf didn't end up rising as much as I was expecting, and the batter was quite thick, so I'm thinking it didn't have quite enough liquid in it after squeezing a lot of water out of the frozen zucchini. This did not however seem to affect the deliciousness of the recipe, it still turned out a hearty loaf of breakfast bread. Just be sure to not over-bake it, it will be too dry then and that's never good! 

I may try adding a little extra liquid next time, some milk maybe, or yogurt, to just see how that changes the texture and look of the bread. Or maybe not. It was so good as you see, why mess with a winner!

 
 
 
 

Zucchini Oat Bread
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, optional
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounce) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounce) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cup (approximately 8 ounces) grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) old fashioned oats
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, optional

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 8 1/2x4 1/2" loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. If using, spread walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes; let cool, then coarsely chop.

Whisk egg, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk flours, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg in another large bowl just to combine. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, add egg mixture, and slowly incorporate dry ingredients with a fork (batter will look dry). Fold in zucchini, walnuts (if using), and 1 cup oats. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle turbinado sugar over batter and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let bread cool in pans 30 minutes; turn out bread onto rack and let cool completely.