Dark Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread (With Toffee Topping)



Before entering into motherhood, I never dreamed I would ever place as much energy and effort into one simple task: sneaking vegetables into my toddler's food. But here I am, perusing Pinterest, asking Google, scouring the Internet for advice from mom's much wiser than I on how I can do just that.

Fortunately, I have gotten pretty good at this over the years. Just check out my Summer Squash Mac & Cheese or my Fruit & Veggie Yogurt Pops.

That said, this weekend was our first farmer's market trip of the year. One of the tips I continually get for handling picky eaters has been to involve them in the entire cooking process, from shopping to cooking to eventually (hopefully) eating!

With $10 in hand, I purchased a bag from a local vegetable farmer and took my son to help me fill it. I don't think there was a single inch of space left in the bag when we were finished, and he had such a good time picking out which veggies we were going to be eating this week.

When we came across the zucchinis I made sure to grab one extra, if only because I myself have a special love for zucchini bread.

This morning, my son asked if we could bake together *swoon* and that was the first thing that came to mind. Of course, when I saw we had one perfectly ripened banana sitting around, we decided to improvise and make a zucchini/banana bread combo. I'm a dark chocoholic, so there was no question what else we would add, but the true icing on the cake came when I added what I thought were nuts, and turned out to be crushed toffee.

So here you have it. Our very improvised, but still incredibly delicious recipe that takes traditional zucchini bread to an entirely new level.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c. shredded zucchini
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. Hershey's Special dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (your choice)
  • 1 over-ripened banana smashed
  • Crushed toffee (just enough to sprinkle on top) -- This is completely optional, but it was very good.
Note: I used Modern Honey's original recipe as a base and added on from there.

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Spray and flour a loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together butter, oil, both sugars, and eggs until completely combined. Add vanilla.
  3. Fold in shredded zucchini and smashed banana.
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  5. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into loaf pan.
  6. Sprinkle crushed toffee across the top of the batter--don't stir!
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes, testing a couple of times throughout. 
  8. Let cool completely before serving.


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