Monday, May 13, 2013

Genius Chocolate-Chip Blondies

I never discovered the world of the blondie bar until I went to university. I was well versed in brownies, of course, in their various homemade and store-bought forms, but I was (and am still) such a chocoholic that the idea of eating any cookie without so much of a trace of chocolate was horrifying.

Genius Chocolate Chip BlondiesNow, I've come to realize that not every dessert has to be chocolate-based, and in fact some things (like apple crisp and cherry pie) are... gasp!... better without it. But blondies are still a bit of a mixed bag as far as I'm concerned. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a butterscotchy, chewy bar cookie, but I like the idea of a butterscotchy, chewy bar cookie with chocolate chips better! The idea (and most of the recipe) for these dense, rich, nutty-tasting blondies came from Chocolate Covered Katie, who is still on my top ten list of favourite healthy food bloggers. I love the nutty, buttery flavour that chickpeas lend to dishes, whether they be savoury or sweet - and although nuts or nut butter of any kind is a no-no at school (and our afternoon crowd has an egg allergy) the pureed beans add a combination of binding, moisture and rich, density that would otherwise be missing from a simple eggless brown sugar bar.

Being that I did have to make this recipe for a large group, the ingredient amounts I've given are a reflection of that. That said, the bars did scale up wonderfully and both froze and thawed well in addition to making delicious frozen "sandwich cookies" around chocolate frozen yogurt (if you decide to go that route I would layer blondie-ice cream-blondie in a pan and freeze as a whole, then cut squares or bars). With the main ingredient being garbanzo beans, they're also right on track to submit to this month's Eating the Alphabet Healthy Recipe Challenge (letters G&H) on Meal Planning Magic.

Genius Chocolate-Chip Blondies
Makes two 9x13” pans, 60 pieces
6 cups (35 oz by weight / 48fl oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp vanilla
¼ cup applesauce
2 large bananas
¾ cup rolled oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
Pinch nutmeg
½ cup chocolate chunks
⅓ cup miniature chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 9x13” oblong pans with parchment.
  2. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) until very smooth in a food processor (you may need two or more batches depending on your processor’s size)
  3. Pulse in the chips, and spread in the pan.
  4. Bake 45 minutes.
  5. Do not overbake - they firm as they cool.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 76.8
Total Fat: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 97.0 mg
Total Carbs: 17.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 1.5 g

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