Why is it that weekends are always one day too short? Or maybe more like five days too short? If we can start a petition for full-week weekends, I would really rally for that one.
Until then, I suppose I’ll settle for the two days (or two and a half, if you start counting 4 p.m. on a Friday as the weekend, as I do) we have for now. And this past weekend was one of the more memorable ones: not only because we went with friends to their family’s lakeside cabin, but also because we had this whole wheat chocolate chip zucchini bread to snack on while we were there. Fresh air, pine trees, calm water, warm sun, cool drinks, babbling babies, grilled food, bonfires, Reese’s s’mores (!), good conversation — it was all there. The days went by fast, but I savored every moment — especially the ones involving slices of this bread.
I asked all y’all on Facebook last week what your favorite variation of zucchini bread is, because while I do have a serious love for my mom’s version (which is in my eCookbook, btw!), I was looking for something new. There were suggestions for molasses and chocolate chips, so I included both. BEST DECISION EVER. You guys are the smartest.
You see, the addition of molasses in the bread not only gives it a slightly rich molasses-y flavor, but it also imparts added moist…ness? I don’t even know what to call it. But you catch my drift, yes? Basically this loaf — or as I liked calling it to myself, “snack cake”, because I love that phrase — is the farthest thing from a dry brick of quick bread (and if you’ve ever had one of those, you know how bad it is. Shudder).
And of course, as everything tastes better with chocolate added to it, I blew way past the chocolate chips in the grocery store and reached straight for the chocolate chunks because, well, I don’t even need to explain this. We can all collectively nod in agreement that when the choice between chips and chunks must be made, the latter is always encouraged (mo’ chocolate = mo’ betta ← that’s my wisdom of the day).
I knew Avery would be snacking on this cake along with us, and I also felt like the angel on my shoulder was clearing her throat quite loudly as I added the bags of chocolate chunks to my grocery cart, so I decided to use whole wheat pastry flour for the bread for a little bit of virtue/health. Honestly, I loved it. It gave the bread just enough density that it was hearty and filling, but in all other aspects it was completely undetectable.
If you know and love zucchini bread, as I do, you will become obsessed with this variation, as I did. It retains all of the moist, rich, delicious magic of a classic zucchini bread (er, snack cake) but adds in so many more yums with the molasses and chocolate situation. And it paired perfectly with a giant mug of hot coffee on a cool summer morning at the cabin. All of that bears repeating in my life again soon.
In the meantime, I’ll be working on that full-week weekend petition. Who’s with me?!
P.S. I’m super nervous to even be telling you guys this before I’ve heard it myself, but there’s a new episode of The Dinner Special podcast featuring yours truly! I talk about bread, obvi, along with some other fun (nerdy? ridiculous? I don’t even know what I said gahhhh) stuff. Take a listen if you like!
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup chocolate chunks or chips, plus more for sprinkling on top
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch square pan or 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with baking spray. Line with enough parchment paper so it extends up sides to use as "handles" for removing bread once baked.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar, oil, molasses and vanilla until smooth. In a separate large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; stir until just combined.
- Add shredded zucchini and chocolate chunks; stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with a few extra chocolate chunks, if desired.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes (for an 8-by-8-inch pan; will be longer if using a loaf pan) until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- If using an 8-by-8-inch pan, cool bread completely in pan on a cooling rack. If using a loaf pan, cool bread 20 minutes, then use parchment paper handles to remove bread from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.