So the surprise of how much my oldest son and I liked the Black Bean Brownies clearly sent me into a bean-bar cooking frenzy. Fueling that fire was also your interest as the readers of this blog. I can't tell you how much I appreciate each and every visitor, especially those of you who leave me a note!
It was after reading one of those notes about these brownies that I thought... if black bean brownies were a hit at home and on the blog, why not try blondies? Honestly...I did the brownies to just see if they would work. But when I saw what a hit they were at home, I thought "huh... I should keep going with this."
I reviewed Chocolate Covered Katie's blog... she does some amazing things with desserts. (She must cook all day long... and have an endless supply of chocolate chips ;-)
And then I revisited Janice and Liz's brownies (because I'm a believer that if a recipe works, best to start there, rather than re-create the wheel.)
I'm happy to report that the marriage of those two recipes yielded this:
...White Bean Blondies...
You'll note that I'm calling them white bean, rather than garbanzo bean. Tuh-may-toe, Tuh-mah-toe... I just feel like it has a better ring. I'd love to give them a try with a can of great northerns and might even try brown sugar for the next time in the pan... but this pan received a big thumbs up from The Hubs (which is saying A LOT).
Things to keep in mind if you tackle a bean-bar cookie:
-These don't taste like a boxed bar cookie mix. If the fillers and additives in boxed mixes equal success for you, stick with those. No judgement here. But that's not what I'm aiming for. I want a mostly whole-food based dessert that provides at least some nutritional benefit. I'm not going to make white bean blondies the only fiber source in my diet, but I am glad that for the most part, when I'm indulging my sweet tooth, it might not be a complete health negative.
-Don't be shy with your food processor. Bits of garbanzo bean are fine in hummus. Not in a blondie. Period.
-Because these are made from beans + sugar, rather than flour + sugar, they never really get that dry, sugar crust on top that's characteristic of a bar cookie. I don't find that to be a problem, but feel you should know.
-I added the cinnamon and vanilla to help "soften" the flavor of the garbanzo bean. Face it... hummus is appealing in large part because of the nutty, earthy flavors of the garbanzos. It's not quite as desirable in a dessert... so the cinnamon and vanilla help tone that down. If you're not a fan of cinnamon & chocolate together, you might prefer to leave the cinnamon out (and maybe try a little bit of instant coffee?)
I hope after reading all of these tips you won't be scared away, but instead will be inspired to try them for yourself. And even better... try something totally new & come back and share it with me!
White Bean Blondies
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Blend everything (except chips and oats) in the bowl of a food processor in order listed, pulsing between each addition. Before adding chips and oats process mixture until very well blended and very smooth. Add oats and chips and pulse just until blended. Pour into an 9- x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
Cook at 350F for 35 - 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand at least 20 minutes before slicing. Store in refrigerator.