Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Squash Brownies

Interning at Red Dog Farm is leaving me with lots of delicious summer squash! For some reason people at the market seem to prefer sleek, green zucchini over its bumpy yellow sibling, squash, so I wanted to think of a way to encourage squash consumption. And what better way than incorporating it into something sweet? If it can be done with zucchini, it can be done with squash. After all they are pretty much interchangeable due to their mild flavor and high water content.

This reasoning and insatiable craving for chocolate led to brownies. Inspired by the recipes listed at the end of the post, I came up with a fudge-like brownie that no one will guess contains squash. I've also limited the amount of added fat and sugar in the recipe, making it a healthier choice than many brownie recipes out there.

Pleased with my end result I brought, apparently illegal, samples to the Farmer's Market this past weekend. They were gone by 9:47 a.m. as were our blueberries, which I'd say makes them a hit. Even the small children who tried them were happy (and none the wiser). I liked that people liked them and I liked it even better that I wasn't busted by an inspector for my contraband baked goods! Enjoy.

Summer Squash Brownies
Yield: One 8 x 8 square pan, which I cut into 25 pieces

4 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour (All all-purpose flour should be fine too.)
1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
1 cup Grated, Pressed Summer Squash
1/3 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Grate the squash using the large holes on a box grater or a food processor's grating plate. Place the grated squash in a colander with small holes over the sink and press the liquid out with a spatula. Let the squash rest in the colander in the sink.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish with olive oil. 
3. Place 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Heat on high for 2 minutes, then stir. Return to the microwave for another minute on high, remove, stir and add the butter. Heat for another 30 seconds. You want the butter and chocolate to both be just melted. Stir them until smooth. 
4. Add 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of white all purpose flour to the chocolate and butter mixture. Stir to combine. It will look very dry...
5. Crack the 3 eggs into the bowl. Stir to combine.
6. Press the squash one more time to get as much liquid out as possible. Measure out 1 cup of it into the bowl. Stir.
7. Add 1/3 cup of chocolate chips to the bowl and stir them into the batter.
8. Pour batter into the prepared 8 x 8 pan and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife pierced in the middle of the pan comes out free of crumbs. Take care not to overcook the brownies or they will get dry.
9. Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove it from the pan onto the rack. Once cool wrap in plastic and chill overnight. While the brownies can be consumed hot, they taste best the next day.

They also taste good slightly frozen.  

Recipes Referenced
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes at 101 Cookbooks
Fudgy Brownies at Martha Stewart via The Kitchn
Fudge Drops at King Arthur Flour
How to: Make Cakey, Chewy and Fudgy Brownies at Fine Cooking via The Kitchn
Moosewood Fudge Brownies at Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies from the great book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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