Coffee Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

It  snowed yesterday.  A lot.  Well, a lot for Victoria.   Victoria  is  not a  city  known for snow and when  it  does snow more than a  couple centimeters the whole city shuts down.  When I woke up   to almost 10 centimeters  I knew that we are housebound for the day.

My  girls played outside, my husband stayed home from work  and I  played around in the kitchen.  I  love it when we have days at home and I can get creative. I  wanted to try  something  a little different  for me and since I was already missing my  Tim Hortons coffee which I was clearly  not going to  get,  I decided to  try and concoct a  coffee flavoured treat.  I am  really  happy with the way this turned out.

I think the  flavor of the coffee and  the chocolate chips  compliment each other nicely.  The coffee flavor really pops especially because this is not an overly sweet  bread to begin with.

Here’s the recipe:

3 cups Grated zucchini (about 5 small zucchini)

1 cup Organic Cane sugar (if  you don’t have this on hand you can use 1/ 2 cup of                  white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar for a  similar flavor)

2/3 cup olive oil

2 tsp pure vanilla

4 eggs

3 cups flour ( you can  use half whole wheat flour if you have it and the coffee will mask the flavor)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cinnamon

4 Tbsp coffee granules dissolved in 2 Tbsp or warm water

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Combine the  zucchini, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the coffee granules and add them into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl mix together your dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.  Add  however many you like. About a  cup is quite generous. And that`s coming from a chocolate lover.

This recipe makes one REALLY large loaf or  two small loaves.  It  lends itself really nicely to muffins as well.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Until a  toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool and enjoy. It`s a perfect treat for a cold day.

What do you like to  do  when the  weather keeps you at home

Advertisements

National Cheesecake Day!

Did you know that National Cheesecake Day even existed?  I definitely did not but  what a  lovely excuse to make one!  Cheesecake is  my most favorite  dessert ever.  I  love everything about it and I  have yet to  meet a piece I didn’t like so I decided  I  was going to try one I had never made before.  Since blueberries are in season and one of my favorite activities to do with my girls is picking berries at the local U-pick farms,  I  decided  blueberry cheesecake  would be a  perfect choice.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:

3 1/2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

Sauce:

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 Tbs cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. For the crust, mix the first three ingredients. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. I gave mine a  quick spray of Pam before putting the  crust in.  Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

3. To make the sauce, combine 2  cups blueberries and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. You will need to puree about half a cup of the sauce  for the filling.

4. Place cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Combine 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and salt. Add sugar mixture to cheese mixture; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each one. Pour batter over prepared crust. Pour the 1/2 cup blueberry puree over batter; gently swirl with a knife.

                     You only need a few swirls otherwise  it will be over mixed.

Don’t the colors look gorgeous?

5. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; place cheesecake on a wire rack.  Cool to room temperature and cover and chill at least 8 hours (this is the hardest part for m!)  Remove sides of springform pan.

6.  When  your ready to serve, pour the  blueberry sauce over the top of the cheesecake or you can put it on top of the individual  slices,  either way works.

When you are  done this is what you get for all your effort:

  Happy Belated National Cheesecake Day!

Caramel Coconut Brownie Squares

It’s been a ho-hum kind of day.  Summer has arrived but the warm weather has not.  We have had a few sunny days but for the most part it’s been more cloudy skies and rain than sunshine.  So today we went to the library and then  came home and had a  jammie day.

When I get bored I often head to the kitchen in search of something new  to make to fill my time.    My hubby wanted something sweet and he always like it when I bake for him so we both win.  Today I came up with a twist on the seven layer bar.

It’s got everything a gal could want in a sugary treat.  Caramel, coconut, pecans, chocolate and  graham crackers.  I think you could even add in a  couple handfuls of crushed pretzels to  get a sweet/salty thing going on and it would be even better.

 

Caramel Coconut Brownie Squares

Crust:

2 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup of melted butter

1/2 cup ground pecans

Mix the  crumbs and melted butter  together and  press into a  9×13 pan lined with parchment paper.   Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Brownie Layer:

1 cup Melted butter

2 cups of white sugar

4 eggs

2/3 cup cocoa

1 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp of salt

1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a pan,  remove from heat and  stir in  sugar.   One by one blend in the eggs.   Add  all the dry ingredients and stir.  Pour onto the crust and  return to the oven  to bake for 30 minutes.

Caramel Layer:

I package of Kraft Caramels

1 can of condensed milk

1/4 cup butter

1 cup pecan pieces

2 cups coconut

1 cup of  broken pretzel pieces (optional)

In a  medium saucepan mix the condensed milk,  caramels and butter, over medium heat stir until  the caramel is melted and blended.  Stir in  the coconut, pecans and pretzels if you are using them.  Pour this mixture over the brownie layer  and spread.

Cool for several hours and then remove from the pan.  Cut and serve.

These bars are worth the effort.  They are dense, chocolatey, chewy and rich. My only word of advice is make sure  you have someone to share them with.  Maybe a few someones.