If you love traditional chocolate chip cookies, wait until you try these chocolate zucchini cookies! With all the traditional flavors and textures of chewy, moist chocolate chip cookies, these are made even more comforting with the addition of warm and comforting spices, toasty nuts and shredded zucchini.
For those new to baking with zucchini, you may be wondering how on earth zucchini has a role in the world of comfort food! Prepare to open up your baking world to a whole new realm of opportunity. Chocolate chip cookies with zucchini have a wonderful texture and volume, and you never taste the zucchini.
Not to mention, if you have a little one at home like me and you're constantly looking for ways to work (ahem, sneak) those nutritious foods into the mix, this is one of those delicious picks where everyone wins! I know you're going to fall in love with these zucchini chocolate chip cookies.
Ingredients for Chocolate Zucchini Cookies
- Zucchini: Zucchini is wonderful in baking because it is incredibly absorbent, so it adapts to the flavors around it. It adds moisture and lightness to baked goods without taking over the flavor profiles. Just be sure to release all that excess water before you add it to the batter, since zucchini has a very high moisture content.
- Ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves: Warm spices add coziness to this zucchini cookie recipe. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves each have distinct flavors and aromas which make a lovely trio in baking. Cinnamon is warm and sweet with a hint of spice. Nutmeg is nutty, earthy and sweet. Cloves are very earthy with a hint of peppery spice. When it comes to nutmeg and cloves, a little goes a very long way, so be sure to measure according to the recipe to prevent these spice profiles from overpowering the other flavors.
- Chopped nuts: If you like nuts in your chocolate chip cookies, you're going to love these. You can use your favorite nut, but toasty walnuts or pecans, with their slight maple flavor, would complement the earthy spices and sweet chocolate beautifully.
- Semisweet chocolate chips: With a lower sugar ratio and cacao percentage, semisweet chocolate chips can hold their shape while in the oven. They also add a special depth of flavor without too much sweetness in these zucchini chocolate chip cookies.
Step 1: Prepare the cookie dough
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the shredded zucchini on a towel, and wrap it up to remove excess liquid (there's more than you may think!). Then, cream the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves; gradually add to the creamed mixture, beating to combine. Stir in the zucchini, nuts and chocolate chips.
Editor's Tip: It's important to add one egg at a time when baking because it ensures that the eggs mix evenly into the butter. It incorporates more air into the batter, helping to create the desired light, fluffy and creamy mixture.
Step 2: Drop the dough onto baking sheets
Drop tablespoons of the cookie dough 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Editor's Tip: When baking cookies, you typically want to arrange the cookies at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. It promotes even baking and prevents the cookies from spreading into each other. It's worth it to use more than one baking sheet so you can properly space the cookies out, and simply bake them off in batches.
Step 3: Bake the cookies
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they're lightly browned. Transfer them to wire racks to let cool.
Zucchini Cookie Variations
- Skip the nuts: If you don't enjoy cookies with nuts, or if someone has a nut allergy, you can simply omit the nuts from this zucchini cookie recipe. Follow the rest of the recipe as guided, and the cookies will still be delicious and gorgeous!
- Go for raisins: If you prefer a chewier texture throughout these cookies, or if you just don't love bits of chocolate in every bite of a cookie, you can opt for raisins instead of chocolate chips in this recipe. Use the same amount of raisins, and incorporate them in the same step as the chocolate chips. Raisins complement cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves beautifully, and they add a bit of pop as you bite into them, so this could be the variation of your dreams!
- Sprinkle some salt: For a slightly salty finish, sprinkle the cookies with flaky salt as soon as they come out of the oven. Those glistening flakes look gorgeous atop freshly baked cookies while slightly tempering the sweetness.
How to Store Zucchini Cookies
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Chocolate Zucchini Tips
Will the cookies taste like zucchini?
Rest assured, these cookies will not taste like zucchini. Even in its raw form, zucchini is very mildly flavored. It pairs beautifully with warm cinnamon and sweet, rich chocolate, so it's a perfect fit for these cookies.
How long do chocolate zucchini cookies last?
Chocolate zucchini cookies will have the shelf life of traditional chocolate chip cookies. If stored properly, they will last up to a week in the refrigerator, and even longer if you decide to freeze them.
Can you freeze chocolate zucchini cookies?
If stored properly, chocolate zucchini cookies freeze beautifully. First, make sure the cookies are cooled completely. Then, layer the cookies in an airtight container between layers of parchment or waxed paper, which will prevent the cookies from sticking together. When prepared this way, zucchini chocolate chip cookies will last in the freezer for up to one month.
How do I shred the zucchini?
To finely shred zucchini, use a cheese grater, a food processor, a blender or a box grater. There is no need to peel zucchini before shredding it, unless a recipe calls for you to do so (which this one does not).
How do I prevent excess moisture from the zucchini from making the cookie dough too wet?
When making this cookie dough, always be sure to wring the water out of the shredded zucchini. This helps to prevent overly wet dough and cakey cookies. After shredding, lay the zucchini out in a single layer, and blot it dry with paper towels. Then, wrap the zucchini in cheesecloth, and wring the remaining water out. You'll be surprised how much more water there is to be released!