Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt

Becky sent me this link to a recipe that made blondies out of chickpeas and she raved about them!  I put them on my to-make list, and finally got around to them!  The chickpeas get ground up and act as the flour in the recipe- great for going gluten-free and adding a bit of protein in there as well!  These are also vegan if you use cocoa nibs or vegan chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet ones I used.
So let's dive right in!  The ingredients line-up:
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar (you can also use honey if you’re not vegan)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet (or vegan) chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I used my mini food processor to grind up the chickpeas into a uniform paste.  This whole recipe can actually come together right in your food processor, but since mine is small, I could only process the chickpeas.
Actually, this recipe also ended up being the undoing of my mini food processor.  I've been using a combination food processor/ blender (two different attachment tops, same base) for a couple years.  It never really did what I wanted it to- the blender required a lot of stopping to stir to blend things uniformly, and same with the food processor, which also was too small to do much more than grind up nuts for a recipe or this thing of chickpeas.  I've been wanting a full-size food processor for years, and was already debating between two when this little guy died on me.  Any suggestions between these two highly rated models by Cuisinart- (affiliate links) an 11-cup model, or this 14-cup model??  Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated :-)

Sorry, back to the recipe!  Combine everything minus the chocolate chips in your food processor, as I said, or add the ingredients to a bowl and mix up!  Easy peasy.
Add in the 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and mix.
Pour into a prepared 8x8 baking pan- I lined it with sprayed foil to make removing the cookies easy!  And sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top.  I should have pressed them into the batter, but didn't know to, haha.  You should!
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle with sea salt when they're fresh out of the oven!  Yummm!
Let them cool for a bit, then slice into bars to your liking- I divided my pan into 12.
Becky was right to rave about these!  I loved the flavor and texture!
Since my food processor wasn't very good (ahem), the chickpeas weren't ground as uniformly as they could have been.  But that ended up being ok!  The texture of these reminded me of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which happen to be my favorite!
The edges get a nice crust, while the inside stays gooey and delicious.  They kind of fall apart while you're eating them in the best way possible.  They're not crazy overly sweet either!
If you needed a recipe to try as a first step into gluten-free baking, I totally suggest this one!  It's easy and doesn't require any difficult-to-find ingredients!  Also, I, of course, used almond butter in these (kind of my thing at this point) and you don't get much of an added flavor from it.  I imagine peanut butter would be much more flavorful and would give you a peanut butter and chocolate thing going (one of my favorite combinations).
Go buy a can of chickpeas and make these today.  Thank you, Becky, for the awesome recipe suggestion!

Enjoy!

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