suspension of disbelief or making cookies from chickpeas

Last post mentioned that my food science schooling involved lots of science and no cooking. Yet it wasn’t all hard work. Classes like Music 101 and General Theater helped me satisfy department requirements and also gave me insight into subjects completely outside of my major.

It was in the theater class that I learned about “suspension of disbelief.” In a good stage production, the audience suspends disbelief; limitations of live theater don’t prevent folks from believing what they see on stage. And it’s this phrase I thought of when deciding to pursue today’s recipe.

While my jury is still out on the merits of facebook, I’ve come to enjoy posting to my deLizious business page. Family, friends, clients, and even complete strangers have been pestered encouraged to sign on with a Like as well as to help make it more of a community by sharing their own fun food (and drink) finds. It’s gratifying when someone takes me up on this, so I was thrilled when my friend Kristine brought Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites to the deLizious party. This recipe, found all over the internet, promises “NO FLOUR, NO OIL, NO WHITE SUGAR.” And it contains chickpeas.

I shared the post and was surprised to see it prove popular, generating a healthy discussion on whether it might taste good (I had my doubts, having been burned before with those beet brownies) and whether it truly was sugar- and oil-free if it contained chocolate chips.

Noting that Dinner of Herbs had made these same cookies and given them thumbs-up via her facebook page, I decided to go for it. I’d suspend my disbelief that legumes don’t belong in baked goods.

Of course there were changes along the way. It made more sense to use the entire 15-ounce can of chickpeas instead of measuring out the 1 1/4 cups called for. A jar of nutella beckoned from the pantry when I reached for the peanut butter. (And when I emptied it before having the amount needed, cashew butter provided the balance.) Peanut butter chips and chopped chocolate stood in for the chocolate chips, and you know I used more than the 1/2 cup called for. Finally, instead of hauling out my food processor, I put everything in a bowl and whirred it (mostly) smooth with my stick blender.

canned chickpeas etc.

canned chickpeas etc.

And? I’ll agree with D of H and give them that thumbs-up. They’re a bit mealy, though not enough to bother. I can tell they contain chickpeas, but only because I know they’re there. Named well, they taste a lot like raw cookie dough even after baking. But to call them cookies seems a stretch. (That said, for gluten-free, they’re phenomenal.) No one will mistake them for Mrs. Fields‘ latest.

dough balls

dough balls

just baked

just baked



Do I not love them because I know what’s in them or are they just not that amazing? Can’t say. They’re tasty enough, but still strike me as a bit odd. Bottom line: I have trouble suspending my disbelief. Chickpeas shine in salads, hummus, pasta dishes, soups. But to puree them into a cookie seems sacrilege and I’m unable to get past that enough to rave about these treats.

If you’re in the mood, I challenge you to make these chickpea cookies and report back. Do you like them or no? How adept are you at suspending your disbelief when it comes to baked goods?

Mickey is back!

Mickey is back!

stack of gooey

stack of gooey

raw cookie dough?

raw cookie dough?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed well and patted dry
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any combination of nut butters )
1/4 cup agave nectar (original recipe called for honey)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350Β°F. Grease baking pan or coat with cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine all the ingredients except chocolate chips; blend with immersion blender until smooth. (Or process in food processor.) Add chocolate chips; stir to mix.

Scoop mixture into small mounds on baking pan. Bake 10 minutes or until just set. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 30 dough bites.

61 thoughts on “suspension of disbelief or making cookies from chickpeas

    • please let me know what you think if you do, Mimi. Not sure if they reeked too much of healthy for me (I don’t even like fruit pies–my desserts need to not be good for me) or if they were just ok overall. Have read lots of great reviews for them, so some folks are nuts about them. Emperor’s clothes kind of thing or I just have different taste buds?

      • I’ll let you know – and I’m drawn to trying them because they’re healthy – which is the exact opposite of what I seek in my desserts!! πŸ˜‰

  1. Ooo, I like the idea of nutella! And I agree that they are like raw cookie dough. I guess it is good for people who refuse to eat regular raw cookie dough because of the raw egg in it (me!).

    • I can only come up with “strange” for these, but they weren’t fails either. Did you store yours in the fridge? At least mine didn’t end up in the trash like the beet brownies.

      Can’t say the raw egg thing ever stopped me from swiping unbaked cookie dough. 😦

      • Yes, I kept mine in the fridge. They were still so soft and moist that I worried about storing them at room temperature.
        I am waaaay too afraid of food poisoning, so I stay far away from eating raw eggs.

    • Please do let me know as I’m puzzled as to whether it was me or the “cookies” that left me with the “mehs.” Tell me more about your beet brownies: Canned or fresh? Mine had canned and I can’t get past that tinny flavor and wondered if fresh would have been better.

      • Mine were fresh beets, and they added a mysterious earthy flavour without detracting from the chocolate. I have extra beets at the moment so the beet brownies should be on the blog soon.

        I’ll make the cookies this weekend and tell you what unsuspecting friends think, muahaha.

          • Hiya, I’ve tested the chickpea cookies on a few people. You are right, there is the chickpea taste/texture, half of the testers liked it. The texture was similar to red bean paste or the filling for moon cakes, which helped me to get my head around the “cookies”.

            Not my favourite, but it was a fun “test” to run!

          • LOVE that you got back to me on this. Thanks, Saucy! Glad it’s not just me that wasn’t sold on them. Though I will say that I’ve kept them in the refrigerator and they taste better chilled. Just not sure how to classify them–they don’t deserve the category of “dessert” but seem a weird snack.

            Liking the idea of red bean paste and moon cakes. Yum.

  2. Hmmm … I love raw cookie dough, so I’m definitely intrigued by this one. I was planning on using the can of chickpeas in my pantry to make some indian food over the weekend, but a little experiment might be in order instead! πŸ™‚

    • I’d go with the Indian food, personally, but am glad to have tried it. Absolutely let me know what you think. Then please bring me another piece of your strawberry pie or one of those cake-in-a-cup thingies πŸ™‚ For whatever sick and twisted reason, I don’t care for desserts that are good for me. Feel like I make healthy food choices so often that the dessert has to balance it out. We’ve talked about this before: when we’re good we’re very good and when we’re bad? Watch out! (or maybe that was just me, lol)

      • I know EXACTLY what you mean. I met with my naturopath yesterday, and today my fridge is full of kale, swiss chard, and other leafy green things. And all I can think about is the new Philadelphia chocolate cream cheese spread that’s hiding in the back πŸ™‚

        • be sure to make kale chips πŸ™‚ And a salad with kale and the other greens. (but not smoothie–blech πŸ˜‰ )

          But I was talking about more than food. A friend cracked me up once by saying that it was good to be good and all that, but also nice to know that you could “unload a can of whoop-a$$ when necessary.” So I always try to keep that in mind. Even marshmallows can carry that can. (we’ve officially overlapped our posts here πŸ™‚ )

  3. These look interesting! I happen to have a can of chickpeas that’s been sitting around in one of my kitchen cabinets, so I will give this a try! Even if these cookies taste odd to me, at least they’re healthy and I won’t feel guilty about eating them hehe.

    • lol, yes to ” interesting.” They don’t taste odd so much as feel odd. Let me know what you make of them once you’ve tried. Something about the texture–no flour will do that, I suppose. Thanks for coming by, Ada!

    • You know the Mickey plate was for you, Tracy πŸ˜‰ Intriguing, interesting. And I’m glad I did it so I can say I did. But next time I have a can of chickpeas, I’ll make hummus or maybe even a curry. Looking forward to circling back to your redux eventually. Still riding that summer roller coaster here 0-: Hope all is well on your end.

    • my only genius is following other leads πŸ˜‰ I still can’t explain why I don’t love love love them. ?? Bet you could do something with them! Still going to make those dried apricot-chocolate thingies you put together.

  4. Okay, you’ve officially screwed with my mind. I still have a print-out of your maple syrup cookies sitting on my work surface (didn’t have time to make them at the weekend, booooo), and now I’ll have to add this to it. CHICKPEA COOKIES??? WHO KNEW????

    • oh dear. I’ve screwed with your mind? Your readers are going to tar and feather me! I am so sorry. πŸ˜‰

      I’d make the chickpea cookies first so you still have the maple syrup ones to look forward to if you don’t like the chickpea chews. Who knew, indeed. They’re odd little buggers for sure. You must tell me what you think. Glad you’re here πŸ™‚

    • I’m going to go with you on this one. Next time I start talking about making cookies with chickpeas, please hand me a hummus recipe instead πŸ˜‰ Thanks for coming by!

  5. Love this post’s title, Liz. Got a good chuckle from it. I don’t know, however, if I could get passed the idea of using chickpeas in cookies. Their being “mealy” would probably ruin the “illusion” for me. Besides, I’ve no reason to GF — yet. I’d rather fill up on it now just in case things change one day in the future and I have to go GF. πŸ™‚

    • I’m with you, John. Make me a salad with chickpeas and pack my cookies full of chocolate and gluten and sugar and fat. I like your philosophy of filling up on the fun stuff now as who knows what tomorrow may bring! Thanks for coming by.

  6. I dunno about this one, Liz. If you cannot tell there are chick peas in the cookie, then why do they want you to put them in there!?

    Even so, its good of you to plow the path on the chick pea cookie debate. Clears up what many probably suspected all along.

    Nutella helps everything!


    • you’ll get no argument from me in the “why make cookies with pureed chickpeas” department. But there are things that need to be tried and I seemed the person for the job. Have seen the same spirit at Patrons of the Pit πŸ™‚

      Yes, the outcome was a confirmation of what my instincts already knew. And I’m agreeing wholeheartedly with your Nutella stance. Amen.

  7. Ahhhhh! This brought back a bit of PTSD for me. I once made chickpea blondies and they were terrifying. The batter set up really weird and everyone in my office was put off by them. I didn’t revel the “secret ingredient” until someone finally said “these remind me of refried beans.” My laughter gave it away. Total fail. I’m glad you didn’t have to trash these but as far as healthy desserts go I’ll just use better fats (dark chocolate, coconut oil) and leave the beans out of it.

    • you’re cracking me up, J. PSTD? Wow πŸ˜‰ I remember those bars. I agree that desserts don’t need to be good-for-you. Dark chocolate and coconut oil–yum.

    • Butterscotch would work well! I wouldn’t say these are “guilt free,” especially after I added the nutella and extra pb chips and chocolate chunks. Please do holler back if you make as I’m so curious what other people think of them. Is it just me that thinks they’re odd? Maybe I’m odd πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for coming by, Miss Winnie!

    • Thank you, Bandhna πŸ™‚ Am honored! Will work on “accepting” very soon.

      I, too, had never imagined chickpeas in a dessert and am still not convinced that they’re cookie material. BUT, a friend told me about a
      “cookie dough’ dip that is made of pureed chickpeas, chocolate chips, sweetener, and maybe some other ingredients? Wonder how that would taste? πŸ˜‰

      Appreciate you being here very much!

      • Thanks!! That sounds rather interesting… Wonder if it actually would taste like cookie dough! Try it out and let me know if you do! πŸ™‚ I’d be starting a diet in 2 weeks time! xx

    • I bet your 4-year-old will love them as he or she doesn’t yet know that chickpeas don’t belong in cookies πŸ˜‰ thanks for coming by. am loving your blog–what a fun concept!

    • Glad you’re here, Uru πŸ˜‰ Not sure that I’d rate these as “perfect,” but they were interesting and not bad really. Fun for sure. Thanks for coming over.

  8. Wow, I have never seen cookies made with chickpeas before! You do indeed find something new on the Internet every day! I also have a problem “suspending my disbelief” I am intrigued with these though, they do actually look really good!

  9. Chickpeas in cookies just seems… odd. But upon reading and seeing how amazing they look once done, I’m sold! Certainly willing to try it. Very interesting post, Liz.

    • EJ! So glad to have you here–amb has the coolest friends πŸ™‚ Note that I wasn’t exactly “sold” on these puppies (and by puppies, I mean cookies), but am all for the experiment if it involves food. Many thanks for the comment.

  10. I finally got around to making these today! Made almond butter from scratch, then tossed in the other ingredients as listed.
    Just ate a piece (or two) while it was still warm–I could tell the texture was off, but it was still soft and the gooey chocolate helped with both the flavor and texture. My boyfriend thought the texture was fine, but could taste the chickpeas.
    Overall, not my favorite “cookie”, but definitely good enough to eat and enjoy without feeling guilty πŸ™‚

    • sounds like we had similar feelings about the results–not overly crazy about them, but they weren’t bad. I’m impressed you make your own almond butter. Want to start doing that as well. Also want to try making nut milks. Have you? Could dunk our chickpea cookies in our homemade nut milk–haha.

      Want to say THANK YOU for coming by deLiz facebook. I love seeing you there πŸ™‚ Also, gave my dad one of your granola bars and he enjoyed them so much he ended up taking about a dozen home. Must make more πŸ™‚

      • The almond butter was pretty easy to make! I have yet to make any nut milks…I just buy almond milk from Costco haha. It’s definitely something I plan to try someday though!

        No problem, I love seeing posts of food on your fb page! So glad your dad enjoyed the granola bars!! πŸ˜€


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