Valentine’s Day is a week away from tomorrow! The stores are filled with chocolates, candies, red roses, teddy bears, and everything heart shaped. You know what I think you should do instead of buying all of the heart shaped things?! Make these Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies!!! My ultimate Valentine’s Day gift would be to come home and smell these babies fresh out of the oven. HELLO, Paul!!!! Are you listening?! This is what I want you to do for me for your Valentine’s Day! I even spelled it out for you – geeze the guy has it easy! OKAY, maybe a puppy or a kitten wouldn’t be a bad idea either – just sayin’. 😉
Don’t you worry, Paul (or anyone else who isn’t a baker, but wants to make a batch of these for you or someone) these Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies are fool proof! They are so incredibly easy to make! All you do is throw all of the ingredients into the food processor, let it puree everything up nice and smooth – try not to eat all of the batter (hello benefits to vegan baking) before you stir in some chocolate chips and spread it in the baking dish. Then of course you sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar mixture, because snickerdoodles and then bake away. My advice is to enjoy them while they are still a little warm. The chocolate is all melted, the batter is extra soft and gooey – plus nothing better than a warm dessert in February. Don’t worry they are also very delicious room temperature.
I bet you are wondering if you can taste the chickpeas in that batter?! I wondered this too, which is why I made them! The answer is NO! Not one bit – I have had several people try these babies and none of them could taste a trace of chickpeas. Best part is these Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies are vegan and gluten free – they don’t require any flour making them grain free – the magical bean, the magical fruit CHICKPEAS!!! The concept of using pureed beans in a baked good is not new to me. I have made Black Bean Brownies which are some of my most beloved brownies! But I was skeptical that the flavor of the chickpeas would come through without the strong flavor of cocoa powder – I was wrong – although I did add the chocolate chips last minute because chocolate is always better – best decision! These Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies are soft, tender and gooey. If you like the idea of under baked brownies then these are for you. The chickpeas add fiber and protein, and the almond butter healthy fats and more protein, the cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, and these babies are naturally sweetened (aside from the sugar in the chocolate chips) with honey (or maple syrup/agave nectar) and coconut sugar for the topping – I dub these Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies pretty healthy as far as a dessert goes! The kind of dessert that steals my heart!
Speaking of hearts let’s discuss Valentine’s day for a minute. For most people (at least for girls) I feel like Valentine’s Day goes through some life stages. 1) As a little kid Valentine’s Day is great! You spend time in class making Valentine’s for EVERYONE in your classroom. Love is shared all around, even to the classmates who are mean to you. And then you eat ALL of the chocolates and red heart shaped suckers until you have a stomach ache – I miss being a kid! 2) You get a little older and you don’t have time to make valentines for EVERYONE in class, so you make some at home for your friends and hand them out in school. THIS is the moment when you learn that the girl you thought was your friend didn’t make you a valentine! Worst day EVER! I don’t miss being in 5th grade! 3) You are a pre-teen now and you start having crushes on a boy – it may change from month to month – but you’re waiting nervously, hoping your crush will give you a carnation in class. By the end of the day you don’t have one and EVERYONE ELSE does. You just wish for someone, ANYONE, PLEASE to send you a carnation in class! 4) You’re in high school and you have a boyfriend and you kind of hate valentine’s day because of all those years you wished and waited and nothing exciting happened to you so you tell your boyfriend that you don’t care. BUT as the day arrives you secretly do care and want him to surprise you with the most romantic gesture of all time and of course all he does is buy you a single rose from the GAS STATION!!! 5) You’re in college and you really despise Valentine’s day so you wear all black and let everyone know about how STUPID you think this holiday is! 6) You become an adult and finally get over all of the bad memories and the silly expectations about Valentine’s Day and the media and you make yourself these Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies and LOVE life! – THE END!
I KNOW, girl’s are complicated! (or at least I was)!
Come on, I know there are plenty of women out there who relate to these Valentine’s Day phases of life! You know I speak the truth! Here’s the thing I want to share with you about Valentine’s Day: It’s not about the roses, or the chocolates, or the cards, or the jewelry, or the hyped up TV commercials, or the most romantic gesture EVER. It’s about LOVE, pure and simple. When you think about how you want to spend your Day on February 14th try to think of what the most loving thing you can do for yourself is and then think of what you can do for the people in your life. Without getting too mushy, I am so thankful that I have a loving, supportive husband who does know that I want to do a little something for Valentine’s Day, even if I say I don’t. BUT love is all around us – and it’s free. Share it with your friends, your dog, your neighbor, your grandma, your parents, your coworker, OR simply with yourself. It doesn’t matter who it’s with just make sure you put a smile on someones face (or your own). And it doesn’t have to be by buying them heart shaped things – let’s let go of that idea – it can be by giving them a call to catch up. Or making plans to watch a movie, or sleeping in late, or giving someone a hug, or telling a joke to make someone laugh. Simply put, it’s doing a little bit extra of what makes you happy and sharing that with someone. Let’s let go of the silly high expectations for Valentine’s Day – ignore the commercials on TV and the stuff in the store – and let’s spread love in a more true, from our hearts kind of way! Cheers to that!
Now go share and spread your love, take extra care this week and be thankful for all the people in your life! AND maybe make some of these Chickpea Snickerdoodle Blondies while you’re at it! 😉
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup natural almond butter - only ingredients should be almonds and maybe salt (can sub sunflower butter or cashew butter for slightly different flavor)
- ⅓ cup honey (swap maple syrup or agave nectar for vegans)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips, reserve some for the top (use vegan, if vegan)
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 8X8 pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor add all ingredients except the chocolate chips and the cinnamon and sugar topping. Process until smooth scraping down sides as needed, about 2 minutes. Rub the batter between two fingers to ensure smoothness, if not smooth then process longer. The batter should be really thick.
- Remove the blade from the food processor and stir in most of the chocolate chips. Or transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish. Spread put evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle a generous amount of the cinnamon sugar topping on top. You may have some left over. Sprinkle on the reserved chocolate chips and slightly push them into the batter.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean and the edges begin to brown slightly.
- Allow the blondes to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy them warm or allow them to cool completely. The blondes will become less messy and easier to hold as they cool.
- Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 4 or 5 days.