Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Post: A'lil Country Sugar/Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I am so thrilled to be sharing this prize winning recipe (from my prize-winning friend) Angie today. She not only has a wonderful blog - A'lil Country Sugar - I have met Angie personally...after we were both bloggers. We don't live far from each other and have gotten together a few times. She's a very dear lady and friend, and the comments she shares about me below make me BLUSH!

I love this gal and so enjoy the recipes she creates. Please please please visit her blog and even subscribe to her posts. You won't be sorry!
Take it away, Beautiful Ang....



Hi, my name is Angie Walker, the operator of A'lil Country Sugar.
But before I get into talking about myself, I would like to do a
little talking about this wonderful lady Marsha at the Better
Baker Blog.

Marsha and I have been friends since I started blogging full-bore
in 2010. She not only is a good, great, awesome friend, but she is
also an inspiration. Marsha can take the most troublesome of times
and see all the good in those troubles. She will completely flip-flop
the direction (of the bad) and get it going in the right direction
(the good). I am so glad to have this wonderful lady in my life.

I have called on her many times for advice, we have cried together,
and vacationed together (Sweetielicious). And the really neat thing
about knowing Marsha, we only live 20 minutes away from each
other. When you visit Marsha's blog, her fan page, or her pinterest,
make sure you mark all those pages because you will want to
return. Also, if you get the chance to get to know Marsha personally,
you are one lucky person.....I know I am!!

To tell you a little about me; I have been blogging steadily since July
of 2010. What started out as a hobby has quickly turned into a full-time
commitment. And I am not complaining because I am loving every
minute of it.

I have lived my entire life in the same small village in Ohio. Being
constantly trapped between endless cornfields and cows, I love to travel.
My oldest brother is an Air Force retired Veteran, and while he
was serving I got to visit....New Mexico, Alaska, Arizona, etc...

I never made it over-seas, but some day I will.
I have three wonderful adult children and two grandchildren.
I'm a full-time college student working on my BA in supervision and
leadership. I graduate this May....WOOP! WOOP!
I hope you all enjoy my recipes, my blog, and my fan page, because
all of you have made this possible for me. You are my strength, my
motivation, and my commitment.
Thank you Marsha for letting me post at your blog today.

Another zucchini "job well done".

Zucchini is one of the homeliest vegetables of the garden (I think). But they are versatile. One of the most versatile veggies out there.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if zucchini grew as beautiful as this muffin? PPFFSSSTTT....I'd be growing tons of zucchini if they looked and tasted like this.
Don't you just hate it when you make muffins and the batter exceeds the muffin pan by one or two muffins?
Just don't forget: when you have empty muffin cups, make sure you put water in them. Don't bake them empty.
Plus the steam from the water filled cups helps in the baking process.


And they look like this when they are done.
This has got to be one of the best zucchini recipes ever. Especially when dark chocolate is involved.
And the white chocolate ganache.....THE PERFECT TOPPING!

 
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins with White Chocolate Ganache

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBS instant coffee granules
1/2 c. canola oil
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. grated zucchini
1 c. Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the coffee granules and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat on low, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until combined. Add grated zucchini. Stir to thoroughly incorporate.
Slowly begin to add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. When everything is thoroughly mixed, stir in the dark chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. I filled mine almost to the top.

Bake muffins 20 - 25 minutes, or until wooden pick checks clean.
Completely cool on wire rack.

White Chocolate Ganache
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chips and cream. Microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring after each 20 seconds. Do this until chocolate is soft enough to melt and become creamy with stirring.
After muffins were completely cool, I dipped each top in the ganache, and set them back on wire rack to dry.

Thanks so much Angie for sharing with us here today!  You'll always be a winner in my book! =)