October 4, 2012

Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondie Thins.... With No Butter or Flour in Sight

Okay, I did it. I made dessert out of beans and other healthy things.   

"Gross! Ew!" my sister groaned on the phone when I told her my plan, "I like my dessert to be dessert and healthy stuff to be healthy."

I get you sister-friend, I really do.

But first you have to try these blondie thins. You'll want your dessert to be healthy and your healthy stuff to be dessert, and then you'll be so mixed up you'll have no choice but to agree with me when I say that these chocolate-chip walnut bad boys are too darn tasty to care what's in 'em.

The only thing I'll change next time is to double the batter and make them thicker, like traditional dessert bars. But then they wouldn't be thins (okay, I had to call them thins because I spread the batter thinly into the pan.... This was likely because I couldn't stop eating the raw batter, which is totally safe to eat and I'll probably make just a batch of that next time, too). We could just call them cookie bars, because they're soft, gooey, and chewy, just like the blondie's cousin, cookie.

Semantics aside, whether you bake them thin or thick you'll certainly be glad you did in the first place. Looks like I'll be having these (healthy) cookies at breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Chocolate-Chip Walnut Blondie Thins: makes 16 squares. Inspired by Deep-Dish Cookie Pie. This recipe has less sugar and a few more taste-boosting ingredients.)
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup cinnamon or regular applesauce
1.5 tablespoons canola oil
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

Optional delicious-boosting ingredients:  *note: If not using, decrease applesauce by half
1 tablespoon ground flax-seed
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon PB2 peanut butter powder or regular peanut butter

Set aside an 8x8 non-stick baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (toast walnuts in there as it preheats as a time and energy saver). Meanwhile, add all ingredients except walnuts and chocolate chips to a food processor and process until smooth. Consistency and taste will be like a sweet, thick hummus. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the pan, using damp fingers or spatula for greater ease. Bake 20 minutes. Cool 5-10 before cutting into 16 squares.

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