Yes, you read that title right, and no, this is not a savoury concoction. The idea for these, as with many baked goods for me, came from all my previous experimentation with aquafaba (aka the brine from canned chickpeas). I got a little overzealous on that front, and many, many cans of chickpeas later, I realized I had a bit of a problem on my hands. As much as I love hummus, I don’t particularly want to be drowning in it and there’s only so much hummus a girl can eat before it either goes bad, or she (aka me) realizes that some of the hummus flavour concoctions she decided to make were terrible, terrible ideas and didn’t actually taste that great. So now I’m stuck eating subpar hummus and nobody wants that. What to do? There must be another sweet sweet use for chickpeas right? Although I’ve never made them, I have heard from multiple sources about black bean brownies. Really, that’s practically the same thing as chickpeas right? Ok, well, not exactly, but close enough. Plus their lighter colour means they can be more like blondies, so it’s not just the chocoholics who are having all the fun.
And thus my dear reader, the chickpea blondie was born. Not only did these end up deliciously soft and fudgy, but they’re technically packed chock full of protein and other good stuff too. All I care about is that they were tasty and solved my overabundance of chickpeas problem, but I try to point out all the benefits 🙂 . It didn’t hurt that they basically took 2 seconds to make (read: You toss all the ingredients into a food processor, then dump it in a baking dish, then bake). I would’ve said that that made clean up a snap too, but I actually have an extremely strong love-hate relationship with my food processor. Love = it’s super high speed, and I have yet to find something that it is incapable of blending to a velvety consistency (perhaps I should start my own “will it blend?” YouTube segment). The financial savings alone of being able to make my own coconut butter, sunflower seed butter etc. totally makes it worth it’s weight in gold. It also has all these awesome attachments (ok, I hardly use them, but I could if I wanted to, so there’s that 😉 ). Hate = Whenever I think about using it, I actually spend a bunch of time contemplating if there’s any way I can get out of using it because cleaning all the little parts is a huge pain in the ass. There’s so many nooks and crannies to it so it makes me a bit crazy when I’m only needing to blend something for 2 seconds (case in point, these blondies) and the cleanup ends up taking me 10 minutes. *le sigh*. When you start trying to convince yourself that with a little elbow grease, you’re totally capable of making the smoothest peanut butter known to man, you know you need to just smack yourself upside the head, put on your big girl pants and use the damn food processor. Just start treating it like you’re a magician to make it more fun. Throw in a few magical handwaves and Alakazam’s and it might just make the clean up more bearable (alternatively, tell all those around you that you are willing to make them baked goods if they would just spend 10 measly minutes cleaning your food processor for you. I have yet to take my own advice, but uh, Kevin? how do you feel about the cleanliness of food processors and your ability to return them to that state? 😉 )
Wow, I really got off track here. Anywho, in the interest of me worrying that these are too healthy for you, I also added a cinnamon, brown sugar and toasted pecan topping for a little crunch and sweetness. It kind of gives it that hint of coffee cake flavour. And in case you were concerned that you can actually taste the chickpeas in these, I will have you know that I had to tell Kevin three different times that they were made with chickpeas. What this means is a) he most definitely came back for more, b) he was clearly ignoring me because he was in blondie nirvana and didn’t want to hear any crazy talk like “these have chickpeas in them”. So feel free to fool your coworkers, your family, your friends, and, most importantly, yourself by whipping up a batch of these. It doesn’t hurt that it’ll use up all those extra chickpeas you might have hanging around it your cupboard too (or is that just me? 😉 ).
Yield: 16 blondies
- 1/3 cup toasted pecan butter
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 tablespoon maple butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 19oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup pastry flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 5 tablespons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- For topping (optional): 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans mixed with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Lightly grease an 8×8 glass dish and preheat oven to 350F
- For pecan butter – In a food processor, combine 1 cup of toasted (or untoasted is fine too) pecans, maple butter and teaspoon of cinnamon. Blend until it looks like a nut butter (i.e. spreadable consistency). This might make a bit more than you need.
- In a food processor, combine all the ingredients (except the topping ingredients if using) and purée until completely smooth
- Pour mixture into glass baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until top is firm and toothpick inserted in the centre comes out mostly clean (it’s ok if there’s still a bit of crumbs sticking to it, it’ll firm up as it cools).
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle topping mixture on top if using.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing.