June 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

To some of you, the combination of the words chickpea and blondie might make you shudder.  Trust me, I know how you feel.  When I first saw the "dessert hummus" recipes floating around the blog world, I cringed at the thought.  Sweet hummus?  It seemed so very wrong.  Soon enough though, my curiosity got the best of me and I tried my hand at some "cookie dough dip"-- more or less a blended mixture of chickpeas, nut butter, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and chocolate chips.  I didn't LOVE it, but really, it wasn't bad.  If I didn't have all these prior associations with hummus being a strictly savory Middle Eastern spread, I may have liked it even more.

Before the dessert hummus trend kicked in, Heidi from 101Cookbooks featured a recipe for Black Bean Brownies.  Initially, I was skeptical (though most of her recipes don't disappoint), but after this recent foray into the world of chickpea blondies, black bean brownies are definitely on my "must-bake" list.

To be honest, I didn't have high expectations going in to this recipe but I was pleasantly surprised with the results-- chickpea blondies are pretty good! And for all of you who are wondering: they don't taste like beans! Aside from being a fun kitchen experiment, they're are also great for those who are vegan and/or gluten-free.  I have to say, they might be some of the wholiest treats around.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies
If you don't have the two kinds of sweetener called for, I think these would work with 1/2 cup of either sucanat/ brown sugar or liquid sweetener. Also, feel free to add up to 3/4 cup sugar if you'd like them sweeter.  Next time I make these, I'll probably use a smaller pan because I like my blondies/ brownies to be thicker.

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie and Have Cake, Will Travel

1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained and rinsed)
3 tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons coconut milk or almond milk
1/4 cup nut butter [I used 2 tbsps roasted almond butter and 2 tbsps roasted cashew]
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Blend all ingredients (except chocolate) in a food processor until very smooth. Mix in chocolate, and spread evenly into a greased 8×8 pan.

Bake for about 22 minutes.  Blondies should be just starting to crack at the middles and turn golden at the edges.  You want them to look a little undercooked when you take them out, because if over-baking will result in a dry, crumbly texture.

Once fully cooled, cut into 16 squares and serve.

No comments: