How to Unwind After a Long Day at Work, or, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Yesterday was just one of those days. My supervisor came into my office after I’d been at work for a couple hours and decided to sit down with me until lunchtime looking at what I was working on. In the process, I realized I’d made some mistakes that were going to take some time to unravel. So I spent the rest of the day unraveling and thinking about the fact that my legs were tired of sitting.

Then, my bus was late (we’re still working up to regular bike commuting), so I missed my connecting bus and had to wait 20 minutes at the Metro station for it. Which, of course, put us right in the middle of 5:00 traffic just a mile from my stop. Let me just say, I hate traffic, even when I’m not the one driving in it. It makes my skin crawl.

Needless to say, when I got home, all I wanted to do was crash. But I had shredded zucchini sitting in my fridge waiting for me to make zucchini bread. And I knew if I didn’t answer its call, I would end up with moldy zucchini and no bread. Fortunately, the process was surprisingly relaxing, I suppose because it got my mind off other things.

I made a variation of this recipe a few weeks ago, leaving out the walnuts (and chocolate chips) because we didn’t have any.


How to make chocolate chip zucchini bread (adapted from Joy of Cooking):

Step 1: Get out all the ingredients for the zucchini bread you made a few weeks ago.

The ingredients. (I realized later I was missing a few, but you get the idea.)

The ingredients. (I realized later I was missing a few, but you get the idea.)

Step 2: Notice the chocolate chips you picked up at Costco last week beckoning you from the back of the cupboard. Get those out too.

Chocolate chips!

Chocolate chips!

Step 3: Look up a new recipe online for chocolate chip zucchini bread. Decide to improvise on the original recipe.

Step 4: Measure out the dry ingredients. Add some whole wheat flour so that the bread is “healthy.” Make sure to double the recipe since your CSA has been giving you a lot of zucchini lately.

We're going to pretend to be healthy here...

We’re going to pretend to be healthy here…

Step 5: Whisk!

I like this part.

I like this part.

Step 6: Measure the sugar. Make a note to buy more sugar.

Oh, dear, running out of sugar.

Oh, dear, running out of sugar.

Step 7: Whisk the eggs. Be lazy and use the same whisk as you used for the dry ingredients.

WP_000709

Step 8: Measure the vegetable oil and think to yourself, “I should probably be using coconut oil instead.” Use the vegetable oil anyway. (Realize later that you accidentally quadrupled instead of doubling the oil.)

Oops... way too much oil. That's what I get for baking while tired.

Oops… way too much oil. That’s what I get for baking while tired.

Step 9: Mix the wet ingredients (plus sugar) in the mixer.

Wet ingredients.

Wet ingredients.

Step 10: Add the dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients.

Step 11: Realize you haven’t crushed the walnuts yet. Do that now.

Yes, that's a fish on my cutting board. No, it doesn't have fish germs on it.

Yes, that’s a fish on my cutting board. No, it doesn’t have fish germs on it.

Step 12: Add the zucchini, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

So colorful!

So colorful!

Step 13: Stir!

Don't overmix!

Don’t overmix!

Step 14: Pour into greased loaf pans.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Step 15: Put in the oven and write a blog post while you wait.

Step 16: Bake longer than the recipe calls for because of the extra moisture from the vegetable oil.

Step 17: Let cool.

This may be the hardest part.

This may be the hardest part.

Step 18: Enjoy a piece now…

Looks tasty!

Looks tasty!

…and then one for breakfast in the morning with caffe latte and cream cheese.

A variation of our normal Sunday breakfast tastes just as good on a Saturday.

A variation of our normal Sunday breakfast tastes just as good on a Saturday.

It was a bit crumbly, I think because of the extra oil, but very tasty and deliciously moist. Next time I would

  1. use the correct amount of oil
  2. flour the pan as well as greasing it, since it stuck to the bottom (I’ve made that adjustment in the recipe below.)
  3. probably grind the walnuts more finely since they may have also contributed to the crumbliness.

Recipe below, with doubled measurements. You could certainly half it again if you want to make just one loaf.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out!


Recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread (Adapted from Joy of Cooking)
Makes two 9 x 5-inch loaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
Whisk together:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Blend well in a large bowl:

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Stir in the dry ingredients. Blend in with a few swift strokes:

  • 4 cups grated zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
  • 3 cups crushed walnuts
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Scrape the batter into the greased and floured pans. Bake until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

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2 thoughts on “How to Unwind After a Long Day at Work, or, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

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