It occurred to me recently that I hadn't made a dessert recipe for the blog in a while. I don't make a lot of desserts in general because I don't want to be left with an entire cake or batch of cookies for myself and not know what to do with them all! But I do like being able to share treats with others, so I decided to make some cookies that I could bring into the office for my colleagues in our lab to eat up.
For some reason, I had zucchini on my mind and really wanted to come up with a sweet treat that featured zucchini. Most recipes for zucchini baked goods are in the form of muffins, loaves or cakes. There are hardly any zucchini cookie recipes out there, so I saw this as an opportunity to contribute one myself!
I've successfully switched carrots for zucchini in the past, so I figured I could use a recipe for carrot cookies and make some changes to turn them into the zucchini cookies that I wanted.
I've had this recipe for carrot "hippie" cookies from Running to the Kitchen bookmarked for a while, so I used that recipe as my base and modified it to come up with these zucchini bread cookies. The main change that I made was substituting grated zucchini for the carrot. I also used a different type of flour, cinnamon instead of ginger, left out the lemon zest, used a bit less maple syrup, changed the amounts of walnuts and raisins, and added some cacao nibs for extra flavour and a bit of crunch.
These cookies turned out way better than I expected! They were soft and chewy, with a texture that was very similar to a muffin. The cookies themselves weren't very sweet, but the raisins added a bit of extra sweetness.
I actually thought they tasted just like a cross between an oatmeal raisin cookie and zucchini bread. I also liked the slight bitterness of the cacao nibs, but you could substitute chocolate chips for more of a decadent treat.
Even though I had set out to make a dessert, these actually ended up being more like a breakfast cookie, and considering the list of ingredients, I would definitely say they're healthy enough to eat throughout the day, not just for dessert!
And if you need further proof, I can tell you that they certainly disappeared very quickly when I brought them to a morning meeting (and when I noticed people taking seconds, I could tell they were a hit!).
Zucchini Bread Cookies
Adapted from Running to the Kitchen
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup grated zucchini (you can leave the skin on)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional; or use chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (oats to salt). In a separate bowl, mix the coconut oil, applesauce and maple syrup.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Gently stir in the zucchini. Fold in the walnuts, raisins, and cacao nibs.
Take spoonfuls of the batter and roll into golf ball sized cookies. Place each cookie on the prepared baking sheet and press down to flatten slightly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-13 minutes, until cookies feel firm on top and are lightly browned on the bottom (mine took 13 minutes).
Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes to firm up a bit more, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 22 cookies.