Food + Wine

Blondies watching their figure

Yo.  Hows’ you?  Good?  Awesome.  Ok.

So I make these killer Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies that everydamnbody loves.  Been makin’ ’em for years.  I’ve made them for birthdays, picnics, dinner parties… basically once someone tastes them, they get played on repeat.  And I don’t blame ’em.

They.  Are.  Amazing.

And why wouldn’t they be?  Butter, brown sugar, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, extra salt, under-baked juuuust enough to be perfectly gooey in the center (when you’re paying attention and don’t over-bake them 🙄 ). Supreme sweet and salty yumminess.

They are simply dessert perfection.

But the other day I felt like trying to re-make the recipe for those of you who are vegan and/or gluten-free, or just plain want a sweet treat that is also kinda healthy for ya.

…or at least has healthy stuff in it 😉

I mean, we are knockin’ on bikini season, so we should all probably be sorta responsible and watch what we’re eating maybe a little bit?

Or not.

Your bootie is your bootie.  Deal with it however you wish.

Anywho. In honor of our booties, I made a new version of my Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies using pureed chickpeas instead of any grains or flour.  How fun is that?!

super fun.

Also not weird at all if you think about how blank of a canvas a bean actually is… it’s starchy and fairly bland, yeah?  So it totally works!

Also, to quote my mother in law who just tasted them and approved of them (before knowing they were made of beans),

‘Ooh!!  So I just had my vegetables!?!’

why, yes you did 😉

I’ve made desserts before using beans, these Chocolate Brownie Muffins being my / everyone else’s favorite / what my kids actually request I make all the time totally knowing they are MADE OUT OF BEANS.  It’s a really cool swap for flour in a lot of recipes.  And chickpeas, in particular, are my favorite bean to use because of their buttery and delicately nutty flavor + firm texture.  I also omitted any eggs to make them vegan, and used a lot of natural and unsweetened peanut butter in the batter to add texture, fat and all around good peanut buttery flavor.

Now… there’s still sugar in them. I didn’t go all in on the health factor and sweeten them with fruit… but you can totally use pureed dates here. You can also choose to use agave nectar, maple syrup or honey (if you’re not vegan) instead.  I just decided to write the recipe using brown sugar because I just plain like it and had it at the ready. (There’s a note in the recipe for all the sweetener options.)

The beloved sweet and salty factor is still very present in this recipe just like in my original, and since they’ve got lots of hearty and healthy stuff inside, they can totally pass as a snack.  They’re tender and moist and just crumbly enough… exactly how you want them to be.  There’s melty dark chocolate at every turn… mmm…

These babies are just an all around smile-maker, ya’ll.

I’m quite proud of these lil blondies.  My kids ate them for an after-school snack the first day I tested them and have had them many other times since (both licking their plates and giving me lots of compliments -kids are super critical so I always make sure to share their feedback 😉 )And I just may be having one for breakfast tomorrow.

Or maybe two.

Make them and see for yourself, yeah?

Cool beans.

GLUTEN FREE / VEGAN CHICKPEA CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BLONDIES

makes 9 blondies

In a food processor, combine the following…

  • 1 (15-16) oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed very well
  • 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened smooth and creamy peanut butter (mine is salted and I oil-drain)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed (or maple, agave…or honey if you’re not vegan… OR 1/3 cup pitted dates pureed with 1/3 cup hot water until a thick paste forms)
  • big splash vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Puree til smooth, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides.  Keep going until it’s very smooth and thick… like cookie dough.

By hand, fold in…

  • 1/4 cup mini dark/semi sweet chocolate chips (I prefer the mini here bc they spread out more and you don’t have to use as much, but you can totally go with 1/3 cup regular sized)

Once evenly distributed, spread batter into a greased 8×8 inch glass baking dish using a wet spatula.  (The wet spatula is necessary because the batter will be very sticky)

Even it out as best as you can, as this will not rise like standard blondie/brownie recipes.

Sprinkle the top with…

  • 2 TB more of the mini dark/semi sweet chocolate chips

Place into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes.

The edges will have begun to brown and the center will be firm but a toothpick entered into the center should show some moist crumbs.

Allow to cool a bit before slicing into 9 squares…

But it’s highly recommended that you serve them warm 😉

thanks for reading, y’all. x

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