May 01, 2022

VEGAN RECIPE REVIEW: Chickpea Blondies

I hadn't been planning to do a dessert recipe this weekend, but my mom invited us over for dinner yesterday, so I decided to make something to bring to her house. I figured it would be a good opportunity for other people to taste a recipe and give their opinions, too!

After looking through vegan dessert recipes on Pinterest, I ended up settling on Chickpea Blondies from Nora Cooks. I know I've made one of her recipes before (for the life of me, I cannot remember what it was) and I liked it, so I hoped the blondies would be just as good. The ingredients are very similar to Vegan Cookie Dough Dip, which is SO delicious, so I figured it would be something like that, just in bar-form.

I had the ingredients for these with the exception of almond flour. I've never had a need for almond flour, and even though Nora wrote that you can substitute regular flour, I wanted to make it as-written with the almond flour. Apparently, it makes the blondies more moist.

The recipe couldn't be any easier--just put a bunch of ingredients in the food processor and let 'er rip until it's as smooth as it's going to get, stir in chocolate chips, then pour into a pan and bake.

The ingredients: chickpeas, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vegan chocolate chips. (You can get the full recipe here on Nora Cooks. I'll link to it again at the end of the this post.)

The recipe didn't say to peel the chickpeas so I'm under the impression that you don't peel them; however, since several vegan-skeptical people would be tasting these, I went ahead and peeled them (not because of taste, but because I wasn't sure what it would do to the texture).

Not pictured: baking soda

You just measure everything out and put it in the food processor.

I put it on the purée setting for a minute or so and it was super thick--not really moving around. I scraped the sides down, puréed again, and repeat. Finally, it started smoothing out and I let it go for a few minutes until it looked like this:

Note: I really like this texture (it reminds me of Smuckers Natural peanut butter). However, I've read from other chickpea dessert recipes that you can use Great Northern beans (a soft white bean) instead, which will give a smoother texture. I may try that next time, just to compare.

Also, the batter tasted delicious!

I prepped the baking dish, laying the paper crosswise instead of trying to line the whole thing with one piece like I usually do. Spoiler: this worked really well. Thank you for suggesting it!

At this point, I poured it into the pan and smoothed it all out. Then I realized I forgot to add the chocolate chips! So I put it all back in the bowl and stirred in the chocolate chips. Then I had to prep the pan again. And finally, I sprinkled the rest of the chocolate chips on top and it was ready for the oven.

The recipe said to bake for 25-30 minutes, so I figured I would do 25 and see what they looked like, then maybe bake for longer. I started cleaning up the dishes and then I realized that I forgot to set the timer. I'm notorious for doing that! I was trying to think how long they'd been in there when I realized I could check the timestamp of my last photo--six minutes ago. So I set the timer for 19 minutes. 

This is completely random and not fitting for this post, but it reminded me of this Siri commercial that is 100% ME. This is probably my most favorite commercial ever, and not just because I love Cookie Monster!

I wasn't sure what to look for when I peeked at them, but when the timer went off, I decided to let them stay in a few more minutes just to be safe. When I took them out, they looked very similar to when they went in, so I hoped it was long enough.

I didn't want to risk having them totally fall apart by cutting into them too soon (even though the recipe says you can cut them after just 10 minutes) so I let them cool on the counter for about an hour, then in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting. I even sharped my knife so I could cut them cleanly; I wanted them to look good when I brought them to my parents' house!

The texture looked exactly how I like brownies/cookies/blondies: dense and moist, looking slightly underbaked.

Eli wasn't here, but I cut one into three pieces so Noah, Jerry and I could taste them.

Noah: "They're good." I asked him to please tell me what he liked or disliked--he just said, "They're good! I would make these."

Jerry: "These are SO good. I would totally eat these again."

Me: Delicious! They do taste a lot like the Cookie Dough Dip--a chocolate-peanut butter flavor. I would compare it to an underbaked oatmeal cookie with peanut butter and chocolate chips. So good! I hoped that my parents would like them, too. My dad thinks that anything that is made semi-healthier than the original is going to taste bad.

I brought them to my parents' house (Luke and Riley were there, too). I didn't specify that they were vegan or made with chickpeas or anything like that. I just said they were blondies and that I wanted HONEST opinions (it's not my recipe; it certainly wasn't going to hurt my feelings if they didn't like them). Even if it was my recipe, I would rather people say what they really think.

Riley: *Nods her head with a mouthful as I ask her if she likes them*

Luke: *Thinks for a moment* Then: "Yeah, I like them".

Mom: She said a couple of times that they were really good and she was very surprised when I eventually said they were made with chickpeas and almond flour.

Now, my dad. I saved his for last for a reason.

"They remind me of when your mom made this meatloaf one time."

BAHAHAHA! I needed more info, of course.

"She made it with Stove Top stuffing. It tastes like that."

I was cracking up, and totally confused. I swear on my life, they taste nothing like Stove Top stuffing OR meatloaf. He explained that they were kind of gritty and not smooth. Then I realized he meant the texture reminded him of the meatloaf! Not the taste. 

So, the texture that I really like (which I would never compare to meatloaf, but more like oatmeal cookies) was what my dad didn't like. Made sense; just personal preference. Now I can't wait to hear his opinion when he tastes the vegan pecan pie I'm going to make instead of my traditional Father's Day pecan pie I make him every year ;)

Overall, I'd say they were a success. I would never try to "fool" anybody into thinking they were made with the typical ingredients--they don't have the same flavor or texture--but they are a very good dessert. I'll make them again for sure! (Next time, I'll try making them with Great Northern beans to see what the texture is like with those.)

Again, here is the full recipe on Nora Cooks: Chickpea Blondies.


  1. Oh wow. That looks so easy. And your Dad is such a "Dad." Meatloaf? Stovetop stuffing? Hysterical. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. your dad's comment cracked me up. i definitely want to try these. the link didn't work for me, but i might be able to find it by googling it.

  3. These look good! If you're looking for a vegan pecan pie recipe I've had success making this recipe and substituting pecans for the chocolate chips and walnuts

  4. I don't know how I screwed that up so badly! They are fixed now. Sorry about that--they are totally worth making :)


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