Zucchini Brownies

Well, it's Monday.  My staycation is over and it's back to my usual routine.  In many ways, this is a good thing.  The past week has been an exhausting sprint to the weekend, and the idea of slowing down the pace by going back to work is actually a little appealing.  But only a little; I'd still much rather spend the morning in my gardens.  Good thing I had one of these for breakfast to take the edge off the reality check: 
Don't judge; you know you'd do it, too.

The summer squash harvest has been plentiful this year.  From the tender patty pans that I just can't get enough of, to the always reliable zucchini, my squash bowl literally overfloweth on a regular basis.  I now have no excuse not to check out some of the fantastic recipes I've been saving up for this very scenario, like these amazing zucchini brownies that were a huge hit with our family and friends this weekend.
There are two things you need to know before making these brownies so you don't have to keep running back to the computer to double check the recipe like I did:

1.  No, there is no egg in the recipe; it is not missing and you don't need to add one.
2.  Yes, it is supposed to look like that when you combine the wet and dry ingredients

If you can just set aside what you know about brownie batter and trust the recipe, it's definitely worth it.  These brownies turn out wonderfully moist and chocolatey.  You will want to make sure you use a nice big bowl and your sturdiest wooden spoon for mixing.  Also, if you're like me and you automatically add an extra cup of shredded zucchini and an extra splash of vanilla extract to recipes like this, note that these changes are already reflected in the recipe below.  

Zucchini Brownies
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded zucchini

Whisk together the oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly add the the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until completely incorporated (the mixture will be quite dry and crumbly).  Fold in the zucchini (as you do this, the mixture will become moist and look more like batter)

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13" pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Frost (optional) when completely cooled. 

For the Frosting: Melt 1/4 cup butter with 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder and let cool to room temperature.  In a separate bowl, beat together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.  Fold in the chocolate and frost immediately.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

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