So you think you can’t bake or make do in the kitchen? Well, me either…obviously if you’ve been reading Chekmark Eats, I spend most of my time in other people’s restaurants and bakeries – not my own. It would be lethal for me to bake because everything would be gone as soon as the pyrex hit the kitchen counter. However, I’ve been stalking this amazing “healthy dessert” blog, Ambitious Kitchen, which features gluten free and vegan recipes- not that I prefer this but her photos are unbelievable. Not to mention, a gluten free and vegan recipe can be quite simple as you don’t always have to buy that many ingredients because you can’t use butter, eggs, dairy, etc.
After months of sending these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars and Chickpea Blondie recipes around my office and months of never seeing them made for me (I mean really some friends, right?), I decided to go out on a limb and make a mess in the kitchen, and this turned out to be quite a successful adventure. Wow – these recipes are some of the best desserts I’ve had and even when you eat almost half the pan, you don’t feel sick like those jumbo deli or Crumb’s cookies because it’s low in sugar, no dairy and no flour (well that’s what I told myself after eating half the pan). I was so impressed with the way these turned out and how delicious, gooey and craveable they are. I took them to a dinner party and all of my friends loved them and my office was impressed. I’m telling you I’ve been thinking about these everyday since, and now I think I’m on a vegan dessert kick. So if you know of good ones in NYC that I need to check out, be a doll and let me know. In the meantime, here is the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies! Let me know what you think.
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CHIP CHICKPEA BLONDIES WITH SEA SALT (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
1 can (15 0z.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar (honey if not vegan)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegan (or regular) chocolate chips + 2 tablespoons
sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 8X8 inch pan with cooking spray
Since I obviously don’t own a food processor, begin by adding about 1/4 of the chickpea can into a big bowl and smashing it up by hand with a spoon until it looks like it was grated by a processor. I did this in 4 different rounds and you can mash it until you can’t see any circular garbanzo bean shapes anymore (or if you do have a food processor go ahead leisurely). Then add in all ingredients and 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. I recommend using milk chocolate chips because they are bigger and really turned out well! The batter will be thick and grainy looking.
Spread the batter in the pan and then sprinkle as many chocolate chips on top as you like. Use more than you think, it’s a real treat when baked. Bake for 20-25 minutes. It took me 20 minutes because I like my baked goods undercooked, gooey and melted, but you don’t want to cook them too much because they will dry out.
Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe calls for sprinkling sea salt on top after it cools, but I did not. If you cut into 16 pieces (which is pretty large) it will be 120 calories per piece although if you go crazy with the chocolate chip sprinkling, who knows?