Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The magical chocolate chip cookie

So now you know I love reading.  I also love cookies.  Unfortunately, while reading makes your brain strong and healthy and can hardly be overdone, cookies are best enjoyed in moderation because, well, you know.  They go straight to your hips.  Or at least, to mine.  Even when *you* eat a cookie, my hips get wider.

My eldest daughter Katie Bel loves cookies, too.  I think she could live on them if given the choice.  Thankfully, she loves kale, and crab, and butter, and almost everything expensive.

We bake together, which usually means I do all the work and she moves her stool around to watch and make commentary.  Afterward, she digs in and tells everyone how much she helped.  She's destined to be a politician, this girl.  Watch others labor and then take the credit.  As long as she writes me a check to support me in my old age, I'm okay with that.  Maybe not, but she's so cute right now that I don't care.

I found a solution for us, though.  Zucchini.  When you add zucchini to chocolate chip cookies, they are magically healthy.  As in, you will never gain an ounce from over-indulging (***I am not giving health advice because obviously what I'm saying is baloney.  Even vegetable cookies can make you fat***okay, litigation hungry attorneys??).

Barbara Kingsolver is my muse for these cookies.  I've been enjoying Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the story of her family taking a year to eat locally, whether from their own expansive garden or their neighbors' farms.  That means they didn't eat peaches in January unless they canned them from the summer before, no crisp cucumbers in November, and absolutely no bananas because they aren't local to most Americans (I know there are exceptions in Miami and maybe a few other warmer parts of the U.S., but certainly not the rest of the country).

It also means that when something was in season, they ate a ton of it.  And as anyone who has dabbled in gardening knows, zucchini are, how you say?, persistent.  Abundant.  Overwhelming in their production.  They are the Duggars of the vegetable world.   I remember in high school, we'd have too many to eat and too many to even give away.  It only takes a couple of plants to have a lot at harvest time.

Anyway, so what do you do with zucchini when you tire of casseroles and steamed dishes?  You hide it!  In bread, spaghetti sauce, and even the neighbor's mailbox.  Plus, cookies.

You can find the recipe here.  I tweaked it a bit. I do not love honey unless it's perfect honey.  And I've only had perfect honey once--this source is unavailable to me at this time, so I substituted white sugar (yes, the demonic white sugar!  My poor liver aches!).  I also left out the nutmeg and cinnamon because I've discovered I have a mild intolerance for cinnamon (My poor tongue burns!).  And finally, I didn't measure the shredded zucchini.  I just used one whole and figured that a little extra wouldn't hurt (My poor heart thanks me for the vegetable love?).

Use the food processor to shred your zucchini. Takes just a few seconds.

Have your kiddo add the chocolate chips.

See?  It looks like a regular old cookie.

You can see a few green hints.

But the master taste-tester didn't even notice.  

The texture is nice and chewy, and I would serve these at a party.  Even after I told Katie Bel about the vegetables, she happily dug in and later rubbed her chocolate mouth all over my pant legs.  That's success in my book.

Overall, highly recommended.  Next up?  I'm going to turn zucchini into bacon.  I'm telling you, you won't know the difference.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh! Zucchini into bacon! Let me know when you master that one. ;)

    I'm afraid my husband is a vegetable nazi and would not allow me to sneak any amount of magical healthiness into his cookies. Even if he couldn't taste it, he wouldn't eat them just because they were...healthy. Oh well. :)


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