OMG. I just started watching Downton Abbey and I am completely obsessed. I know I’m a little behind the times (I think the fourth season comes out this fall), but I can’t seem to get enough of it. If you watch it you will totally understand…I feel like I know Mary, Edith, and Sybil, and Anna and Mr. Bates, etc. If you aren’t already watching, I strongly suggest giving it a try!
Now for these bars. A plethora of homegrown zucchini seems to be quite the cliche during the summer (and not without good reason). However, at my house we are quite deficient of any sort of zucchini plant, opting instead to grow tomatoes. So unlike many people right now, we actually have to go out and buy zucchinis at the farm or grocery store. I know… scandalous.
But completely worth it when you get a taste of these magnificently moist and flavourful zucchini bars smothered in a rich and gooey layer of cream cheese frosting.
The zucchini in these bars adds moistness to the bars, and because you’re going to frost them with cream cheese icing, you don’t need to add as much sugar… I scaled it back by HALF from the original recipe. While I was trying to be healthy, I also decided to substitute half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat as well.
The addition of chocolate chips is the perfect finishing touch, and adds a nice contrast to the soft bars and icing. These would be perfect for any summer get together or with a glass of iced tea in the afternoon.
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
5 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces), grated
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ square baking pan with non-stick spray.
Beat the butter, sugar and honey together in a large bowl until fluffy. Then add your egg and vanilla, and beat together until well blended.
Add in your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir just until blended. Incorporate the zucchini and chocolate chip until evenly distributed. The mix should be fairly thick.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium sized bowl, add the cream cheese and butter and beat to soften and combine (I used a whisk, but you can use an electric mixer). Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add additional sugar as desired for a thicker frosting. Spread evenly on the top of the cooled bars.
Yield: 9 large bars