I had a little party this weekend, a housewarming of sorts, although I am living in a sublet, so I can't take credit for the beauty of the home, and I will be moving out again in just a few months. But does one ever really need a reason to gather friends together, old and new alike, and prepare a storm of snacks and drinks to offer them?
There was a spread of roasted red pepper hummus, white bean garlic herb dip, cheeses, crackers, and other sundries, and cupcakes per usual. I originally thought I would turn my recipe for cocoa applesauce muffins into cupcakes, but apples equal fall, and I'm not quite ready to accept the turn of seasons yet. I'm a big advocate of continuing to take advantage of summery produce until it disappears from the markets. With my schedule busier lately than I'm used to, I also didn't feel like taking the time to slowly cook apples down into sauce, so a simple grated zucchini from the greenmarket made sense.
I ended up adapting Heidi's recipe for chocolate zucchini cupcakes on 101 Cookbooks, but left out the chocolate chips because they actually aren't necessary. I've never before been able to achieve a rich chocolatey taste through cocoa powder alone. The key, I've now learned, is to use a full cup of cocoa, as a quarter or third of a cup won't cut it. My cupcakes tasted sharply of dark chocolate, with moist shredded zucchini hidden secretly and healthily inside. I paired them with bourbon cream cheese icing, but lemon or peanut butter icing might also be fun.
Cocoa Zucchini Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1 zucchini, about 2 cups grated
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
bourbon cream cheese icing
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar. Whisk in honey, eggs, vanilla, milk, and grated zucchini. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and beat until batter is combined and smooth. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove, let cool, and top with icing. Makes two dozen cupcakes.