Wait, what? Did she just say “Beans”?!
This is such a sneaky little way to add some plant-based protein to your cookies, make them gluten free, and just so much healthier… And, no… They do NOT taste like beans!
In fact, only one person who has tasted them so far has told me they taste like “healthy cookies” – and I suspect it’s because as my sister-in-law, she already knows I would never just randomly make really unhealthy cookies (not without a special occasion as an excuse, anyway).
The rest of my friends have gobbled these up, and when an suspecting friend (who is smart enough to pick up on the fact that I like making healthy things) refused to eat them, reasoning that “but they probably have zucchini in them or something,” the others quickly told him (with their mouths full) that he is being delusional as these are amazingly chocolaty and rich.
One of the things I am notorious for is feeding my friends and family yummy desserts, watching them finish every last crumb with an innocent smile on my face, and when they’ve proclaimed how scrumptious it was, reveal the horrible secret:
“Guess what? It’s made from chickpeas!”
“The secret ingredient? Sweet potato!”
“Oh, you mean you really liked the zucchini based muffins?”
And of course, my latest favorite – “What you just ate is made from BEANS!”
It’s a nice way to make people re-think what they (think they) know about what healthy or unhealthy food “should” taste like… And of course, it doesn’t hurt that their jaws drop in amazement and from that point on they think you’re a magician.
I really wish you could make these cookies without knowing they’re made from beans, since I always wonder what it feels like to be on the other side…
There is a catch with this recipe, though – two, actually. First of all, you need a food processor or a blender. I am guessing you can get a very close result with an immersion blender, but it takes a more hardcore machine to make the mixture really smooth and get rid of all the “bean chunks”, so that your unsuspecting friends can be thoroughly impressed.
Second, the baking time is so crucial here. Twenty minutes sharp at 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit), no convection. Any more than that, they will be too dry. Any less, they will just not be ready. These seem like they are really under-baked when they come out, but after cooling they harden and they are, as the name implies, ooey, gooey, super chocolaty, and just… perfect.
Ooey Gooey Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies:
Serves: makes 25 – 30 cookies
Estimated Time: 15 minute prep + 20 minute bake (not including soaking and cooking beans!)
Kosher Classification: Dairy
3 cups red beans, cooked and thoroughly drained*
50 grams butter, softened (2 Tbs)
1.5 Tbs vegetable oil
4 Tbs almond butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Silan (date honey) or regular honey
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
100 grams good quality dark chocolate in bar form (not chips)
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
Place all of the wet ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients (not including the chocolate bar!) in a different mixing bowl. I like to use a whisk since it fluffs up the mix but it’s up to you.
Pour the dry mix into the food processor and stir them slightly into the wet mixture (so that it won’t puff up in a cloud when you turn it on). Process again until everything is thoroughly combined. You may have to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drop blobs of batter onto it with a tablespoon. The cookies to flatten out during baking, so leave a good 2 cm between them. I find that the best way to get circular cookies as opposed to amoeba-shaped ones is to drop the batter straight down: Hold the spoon with the batter perpendicular to the baking sheet and scrape the batter off, either with your fingers (if you, like me, like getting dirty) or another spoon (if you prefer to stay clean). This basically makes the place where the batter contacts the parchment paper the center of the cookie, so when it inevitable spreads, it spreads evenly around it. That’s it for pseudo-physics for today. Promise.
Place in hot oven and bake for exactly 20 minutes. They’re going to look and feel under-baked. I know. They will harden as they cool, and you do not want these over-baked. Trust.
While they are baking, coarsely chop the chocolate into little chunks.
Take the cookies out. While they are still warm and soft, press the chocolate chunks into them (3-4 chunks per cookie is enough to make it pretty and tasty).
Let cool until the cookies firm up, and then do your best to not eat them all in one sitting (believe me, you will want to pull the whole “Guess what it’s made of?” bit with others. It’s priceless).
- Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (35- Fahrenheit).
- Place all wet ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add dry mix to wet mix, stir a little, and process until thoroughly combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoons of the cookie mix onto the parchment paper.
- Bake for 20 minutes. In the meantime, chop the chocolate.
- While cookies are still warm, press 4-3 chunks of chocolate into each one.
- Let cool until cookies firm up.
- Enjoy with a glass of milk!
*For the beans, you can certainly use canned ones if you have them. Just make sure to rinse them with water and then drain them thoroughly.
To cook the beans from scratch, soak a cup plus a tablespoon of dry red beans overnight (or for at least 6 hours). Rinse them, and cook in fresh water until soft.