Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chick Pea Cookie Bars
Vegan & Gluten Free*
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- ¾ cup of maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
I recently received a request to test the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chickpea Cookie Bars from the Honour System. This post will test the availability of ingredients; the cost of the ingredients, the ease of the directions provided with the recipe (see the link for the full recipe) and finally, the recipe, will be tested on taste. Ultimately the recipe will receive a grade.
So, have you ever baked with chickpeas? Awww come on, let’s a see a show of hands. A few…ok (I have recently acquired the magic mirror from Romper Room, so watch out!). But not so many. The person making the request for this test was unsure about baking with chickpeas and didn’t want to waste her time or money if the recipe would be a failure.
This is not my first time baking with chickpeas. In the past, I’ve made an apple chickpea cake that is to die for – my workmates can vouch for this fact. Chickpeas will add a pleasantly moist texture to your baked goods, not to mention your baked goods will be filled with a nice helping of protein and fiber.
Let’s move on to the recipe at hand – Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chickpea Cookie Bars from the Honour System.
Following the directions from the recipe, I measured all the appropriate ingredients into the food processor (everything but the chocolate chips).
I processed the ingredients for about three minutes (how long you process will depend on your machine). I looked for the consistency of hummus as the recipe specified. The aroma was amazing and the chocolate had not been added yet – could not wait for clean-up.
Next I poured the chickpea mixture into a bowl and folded in the ½ cup of chocolate chips. I used mini-chips but the pictures included from the original receipt suggest that normal sized chocolate chips were used.
Then, I scooped the mix into the parchment lined loaf pan. I apologize, in advance, for the look of my parchment paper. I’ve never been a parchment paper whiz.
As directed by the recipe, I pressed the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips into the top of the mix. And then, I popped it in the preheated oven and set my timer for an hour.
About 20 minutes into the baking cycle, the scrumptious smell of the marriage between peanut butter and chocolate floated through the air and soon infused the whole house.
With 10 minutes to go on the cooking time, I turned on the oven light on for a peek. I was pleasantly surprised to see the cookie bar edges beginning to brown.
At the one hour timer, I took the loaf pan out of the oven and tested to see if it was thoroughly cooked with a toothpick as suggested by the recipe. All was in order and the recipe was cooked.
I set the pan on a cooling rack, for 10 minutes, as directed by the recipe.
At the 10 minute timer chime, I lifted out the cookie bars. Adding the parchment paper was brilliant. The paper made it very easy to transfer the cookie bars to the rack for cooling. The bars smelled heavenly!
I left the bars to cool for additional 30 minutes as directed by the recipe. At the 30 minute chime I checked the bars. I thought mine were still a bit too warm for cutting. This could have been because of the hot and humid weather. So I placed the cookie bars in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and then cut them.
In the end, the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chick Pea Cooke Bars from the Honour System were award an A. Below you will find the information for each category on which the recipe was graded:
A The bars get an “A” for availably of ingredients. They were all in my pantry. And, most likely, they are in your pantries too.
B For cost of ingredients (would have been an “A” if I didn’t use organic maple syrup, organic peanut butter, organic chick peas and EnjoyLife chocolate chips.)
A for directions, they were very easy to follow.
A for taste. Seven people officially filled out a survey to go along with the tasting. The questions revolved around look, smell, texture, first taste, final taste and if they would have known the recipe contained a chickpea base if it wasn’t included in the name. And that answer was a resounding no. And an unofficial taster of 3 years old said. “Miss Jackie these are really good.” So they get the kid vote too. Another tester commented, “No, I would not have known the recipe contained chick peas. However, knowing that reduces my guilt in enjoying dessert.”
*Please make sure that all of your ingredients are both vegan and gluten free. Just because ingredients are listed and pictured does not insinuate that they are either vegan or gluten free. Please make sure you choose the appropriate ingredients for your audience of tasters. Kroger has a wonderful list on their website (71 pages) of all the gluten free items in their stores.