This is a most interesting recipe. It lacks eggs and butter in the batter so it comes close to being Vegan; I was not able to eliminate the white sugars, so that is a problem for anyone trying to make a Vegan version.
My muse for developing this recipe was Dr Patricia Engle; we were talking about using our abundant zucchini and she mentioned that she had made zucchini brownies, and added a bit of chili powder to give them some heat; she said that it hadn’t been enough in her opinion, and she would try cayenne the next time.
The recipe also allows several other alternatives; while it is designed as a spicy recipe, the cayenne pepper could be left out to make a simple zucchini brownie. Surprisingly, the zucchini makes these brownies extra moist and in my taste-testing, I have been told they are a very good brownie.
Another alternative in the recipe are the nuts; they could be eliminated for anyone with an allergy. I have also thought of adding, or substituting for the nuts, chocolate chips; I would use the same amount as the nuts – 1/2 cup.
Spicy Zucchini Brownies
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 double recipe chocolate glaze – see below
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, blend together well the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and spices. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the zucchini and nuts.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Frost the brownies with the chocolate glaze. Let cool completely before cutting into 18 pieces.
Chocolate Glaze (double recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine cut into chip-size pieces
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 4 ounces chocolate chips
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Place the milk, butter and chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir the mixture. Repeat the 20 second heating and stirring until the mixture is smooth when stirred.
Add the sugar and stir to dissolve it all into the chocolate mixture. Continue stirring to smooth out any sugar lumps. Use before the glaze cools and hardens.
When you first mix up the batter, you will wonder if there has been a mistake; the batter is very dry- I would say it is almost granular. But when the brownies have been cooked, the zucchini has released its moisture and the brownies are excellent.
I started with a fairly common chocolate glaze; it has a 3-2-1 ratio of ingredients. That would be 3 Tablespoons heavy cream, 2 ounces of chocolate chips, and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. I thought about the fact you need to buy heavy cream in larger amounts, and why buy so much more than you need (6 Tablespoons for a double recipe). So, I looked at eliminating the heavy cream by using some solid fat, plus regular milk. I actually like this version of the glaze better; it seems to stay loose longer when mixing in the sugar and thus can be made smoother. That change also makes it easier to move the recipe into a Vegan friendly recipe as the only remaining issues are the white sugars once you substitute one of the Vegan friendly milks – I tried using the Almond Milk successfully.