I about had a fit to get this cookbook a few years ago.

It looked so cool–hiding puréed vegetables and such in unsuspecting foods.

There is sat, all pink and new, on my shelf. I would pull it out and peruse the recipes. Then I noticed something…ALL THE RECIPES HAD PURÉED VEGETABLES IN THEM!

What was I thinking?! Me? The girl who used to spit her green beans in her napkin at dinner? The girl who would cry whenever squash or okra was served? I was going to sneak vegetables into unsuspecting foods? HA!

THAT little cookbook could just stay pink and new on my shelf!

On the shelf it stayed for a couple more years.

I guess I had a moment of weakness. You know, “first of the year—we are going to eat better” weakness.

So, I pulled the pristine, pink cookbook off the shelf once again. I found the recipe I thought I could get by with the easiest—Chocolate Chip Cookies. You should know, however, I do make a mean “unhealthy” chocolate chip cookie, so I wasn’t sure how this would go over with the Critics.

There are a few unfamiliar players in this game.

First up is margarine. I’m an unsalted butter gal. Most of the cookie recipes I’ve seen, at least the ones that look good, call for unsalted BUTTER. Can I get an amen from my Paula Deen fans?

Next, egg whites. I was not opposed to egg whites. I just have never bought liquid eggs in a carton before. And yes, there was an incident. I neglected to tell my sweet husband that I had bought the liquid eggs. The carton was the same size as the half-and-half we had in the fridge. Half-and-half had a purple stripe, eggs had a blue stripe. If he had only been told about the eggs-in-a-carton, the eggs would not have gotten poured in the coffee. Sorry, honey! At least there was more coffee.

The third stranger to my baking world…chickpeas! Yes, I said chickpeas! Now, I like chickpeas. Here is one of my favorite ways to eat them. Baking with chickpeas? This was new to me!

Here is a little interesting information I found out about chickpeas aka garbanzo beans. The information came from this website.

CHICKPEA

Chickpea and garbanzo bean are 2 names for the same thing (Cicer arietinum) a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae). They are also called ceci (Italy), Egyptian pea, gram, Kichererbse (Germany), and revithia (Greece).

Garbanzo is the name used in Spanish-speaking countries.  The English name chickpea comes from the French chiche, which comes from the Latin cicer.

Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas are the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, they have a firm texture with a flavor somewhere between chestnuts and walnuts. Garbanzo beans are usually pale yellow in color. In India there are red, black, and brown chickpeas.
CDC.gov – 5 a Day

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans have 361 calories per 100g, and are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

On with the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

3/4 cup trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread

2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

3/4 cup raisins (optional)—I didn’t use the raisins

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low-speed until a thick dough forms.

3. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11-13 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer to a rack to cool.

4. Store in an airtight  container for up to 3 days.

So, the procedure was basic enough.

But how would they taste?!

They, LOOKED like chocolate chip cookies. Well, they didn’t look as good as my cookies.

Taste? How would they taste?

Well, I’ll be honest. I was scared! I was about to eat a cookie with a BEAN in it! HELLO! Bean cookies?!

I couldn’t show my fear in front of the kids. munch, munch, mmmm, smile

Ok, they weren’t bad. chew, chew, chew

The texture was pretty good, very cookie-like.

The chocolate chips and walnuts were excellent!

Then I got a big bite of bean! Yep! I was eating a cookie with a bean in it!

I think if I make these again, I would chop up the beans. For one thing, when you look at the cookie, it looks like it has peanut butter or butterscotch chip in it. So, when you bite the bean, it is a little disappointing. Chopping the beans would spread that beany taste around.

Critics’ Corner:

Chip: Chick Peas? Wow!

Megan: It was delicious (except when I got a mouthful of garbanzo bean, which tasted like meat). This recipe is going to college with me!

Katie: I love the cookies! Who would have thought that chick peas were the secret ingredient in such delicious cookies!

Here’s that other recipe with chickpeas.

I found this recipe a really long time ago. I couldn’t even tell you which cookbook has this recipe. It’s one of those that I’ve made so many times that I don’t need the recipe any more.

The whole family loves it!

I may have to pick up ingredients to make this on my trip to the store today.

Oh, here is something else interesting…I’m on the Dr. Oz mailing list. This is one of the articles he sent out today!

Bean Stew

Here’s what you need:

1 clove garlic

1 Roma tomato

about 1/4 cup of green pepper

1 can dark red kidney beans

1/2 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 can chicken broth

about a tablespoon of dried onion flakes

about a teaspoon basil flakes

2 cups dried pasta shells

A big dash of Worcestershire sauce

Toss it all in a pot until the shells are done!

Serve with some yummy French bread.

Critics’ Corner

I don’t even have to ask. They LOVE it! Katie’s favorite part is when a bean or chickpea gets caught in a pasta shell! YUM!

Chickpeas? Really? We have a recipe that uses chickpeas that everyone likes.(I guess I’ll have to share that one later.) So, when I saw this recipe in Woman’s Day back in December I thought I’d try it.

Here is what you need:

2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper –ok, so mine wasn’t freshly ground, sorry

pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Click the picture of the recipe to enlarge.

1. Rinse the chickpeas under water,

spread them out on paper towels and let dry  for 15 minutes.

A cooling rack with a couple of layers of paper towels did great. The cooling rack kept the chickpeas from rolling around all over the place.


Pat the chickpeas dry with additional towels; discard any loose skins.

Click on this picture and you will be able to see the skins that have loosened.

I have to admit I got a little obsessive about this step. Every time I would rub the chickpeas with a paper towel, more skins would loosen. Peeling off the skins was fun, kinda like when you have a sunburn.

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne, if using.

Add the chickpeas and toss to coat.

I thought they would get coated better if I tossed them in a big Ziploc bag.

Yep, that’s me-doing the zip bag dance!

3. Spread the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing twice, until dried and very crisp, 50-60 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

I wish I had taken a picture when I went to stir them. They looked really different each time.

I cooked the chickpeas for 20 minutes, stirred, 20 minutes more, stirred, then I started thinking maybe they had gone long enough. I got nervous and pulled them after they had cooked about 50 minutes.

They turned out ok. They remind me a little of Corn Nuts, of which I am not a huge fan. They weren’t quite what I expected. Here is what the Critics had to say.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: They turned out a little crunchier than I thought they would — sort of like Corn Nuts. And, since I consider Corn Nuts to be a tasty treat, I consider Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas to be a tasty treat, too.

Megan: They were OK, but I don’t think it should be a regular on the menu.

Katie: They were okay, but they tasted sort of weird to me.