Bonding over chunky Zucchini Cookies

I’ve always loved spending time with my youngest baby brother, Wils. Every time I bake on a weekend and he’s finished with his homework, I drag him down to the kitchen to have a baking bonding session with me. I reckon it’s a lot more educational than watching cartoons. Sometimes I purposefully pick out recipes that I think he would have fun with. He loved it when we made Rainbow Cupcakes (which perhaps I will share here when we make some during his summer break), and he also had much fun putting on itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polkadot bikinis on Mini Gingerbread Cookies for Christmas last year. If you’re curious, here’s a photo.

But let’s talk about these amazing zucchini cookies. These cookies had a wonderfully colourful batter, came out so chunky and chewy, and were incredibly filling because of the oats and other ingredients. And it is overloaded with so many toppings and cookie-goodness imaginable, it’s difficult not to love these. It’s rather healthy-looking as well [it looks a bit like granola bars, doesn't it?], because of those lovely specks of zucchini and dried fruit.

Wils and I want to make these again. And again and again and again!

Zucchini Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Dried Cranberries

adapted from Two Peas And Their Pod | Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and the sugars. Mix until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract. Add the shredded zucchini. Mix until combined.

4. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined.
5. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
6. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets. You may need to use your fingers to shape the cookies.

7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Some notes:
The cookies, kept in an airtight container, can be frozen, kept in the fridge, or just kept in room temperature for several days to over a week (in case you want to savor it for that long).

~Print this recipe

Making these cookies together was a lot of fun (but eating them was even better), especially the part where we got our hands all sticky and gooey from the dough. Wils wanted to have his cookies identified as his so he made square-shaped ones and left me to make circular ones. He was very proud as he presented our parents with a tray of his own cookies as they came home from work that evening. He looked at them expectantly as they took their first bite; his face brightening as they happily gobbled up the rest of the cookie. He received no sermon for watching too much television that day.

I must say I really love the aftertaste these cookies leave in your mouth. There is a mixture of that sweet savoriness of the oats, as well as that of the chocolates and the cranberries, which just leaves you wanting more. One of my other little brothers, Jason, loved the cookies so much he brought a few big pieces to his school to share with his friends. Unfortunately, because kids are so used to seeing and eating the regular old chocolate chip cookies, they were hesitant to eat this granola-bar look-a-like. Well, it’s their loss, and a gain for my brothers who like to hoard these.

In any case, it was actually quite a busy day for the both of us when we made these yummy yummy cookies. I was reeling from this job I had to do as a favor for my Dad and Uncle, and I was a bit stressed even after just a week in there that I felt the need to bake– a lot. Helping out in a Travel Agency that is understaffed means being overworked, and I think that might even be an understatement. It’s both a tough and fun job at the same time. I was really only tapped for the job because I hadn’t found a job or a company I wanted to work for yet. My Dad doesn’t feel like I’m quite ready to take over our own company until I get much-needed exposure and discipline working for, rather than heading, a company.

That’s probably true.

Anyhow, here are the other goodies Wils and I made. You can click on the links I’ve provided for the recipes:

Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes via Handle the Heat

I thought the cheesecakes themselves were a bit salty (I don’t remember adding too much salt though), but eating it with the topping balanced it out. The original recipe has a special cranberry topping, but I used strawberries because it’s what I had.

Apple Cinnamon Cornbread via Two Peas And Their Pod

I had a problem with how the bread stayed gooey and didn’t actually cook through in the middle. The slices with the apple chunks were lovely though. If I were to make this again, I wouldn’t put the sugar topping on the bread anymore because it becomes too sweet for everyone, even for them sugar-lovers.

I can almost imagine what my humble oven might say if only it could talk, with all this baking in one day.

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