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Gluten Free Chickpea Brownie Bites

by on September 11, 2010 · 13 comments

Years ago I tried black bean brownies. I enjoyed the flavor and texture, but I think what I liked best was the fact that they contained an unusual ingredient and that they were gluten free. I can’t say I know anyone who is actually celiac, but I like the idea that if I did I could bake for them. That, plus it’s just fun to try new things.

Today’s recipe is along the same line as black bean brownies, but instead of black beans the secret ingredient is chickpeas. Packed with protein, fiber and fat, I love chickpeas on salads and pureed into hummus, but was really curious how they’d be in brownies. Would the brownies be mealy? Could I taste the beans? Inspired by Brian’s guest post on More Than a Mountful, a wonderful blog written by Chef Dennis, the Culinary Director at Mount Saint Joseph Academy in PA, I made my own batch.

Chickpea Brownies

Thanks again to Brian from A Thought for Food for the recipe and congrats on getting his picture selected by Taste Spotting. His photo his far superior than the one I took today, but I’m very happy with my variation on the recipe and thought I’d share it with you along with Brian’s.

I wasn’t sure what I’d do with a whole batch of chickpea brownies so I decided to use half a can of chickpeas and make a half batch. Because I wasn’t sure how to halve a 9 inch square pan (though I have a feeling a loaf pan would have worked just fine), I made the brownies as “mini bites” and used my mini muffin tin. Below is the recipe as I made it, but I went ahead and typed the full version because I think you will want to make 36 of these babies instead of just 18. They are chocolate bombs with benefits. The chickpeas stand in for flour making them gluten free and agave, which is said to have a lower glycemic index than sugar, stands in for the sugar. I didn’t bother calculating nutritional profiles because low calorie and low fat, they are not. But they are rather “wholesome” and more importantly, they taste fabulous! Frankly, I think I like these better than the black bean brownies.

Chickpea Brownie Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Gluten free brownies made with chickpeas
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 36
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, cold
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus more if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners. If you are halving the recipe, use 18.
  2. Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl for about a minute or until melted and very hot. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts. If it doesn’t melt, microwave butter and chocolate together for another 30 seconds and stir. Stir the cocoa into the melted chocolate mixture.
  3. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, agave and salt until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and process until smooth. Pour the chickpea mixture into the bowl of melted chocolate and stir until blended. Make sure it’s sufficiently cool, then stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into mini muffin cups dividing equally among the 36. Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes or until brownies appear set and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs rather than batter. Let cool completely.

brownie bites

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Published on September 11, 2010

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Ernst September 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for this recipe and review. I’m always looking for alternative recipes that actually taste great. I’d never have thought that chickpeas could sub for flour, but I’ll take your word for it. Can’t wait to try these!

CindyD September 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm
Stacie @ Imperfectly Healthy September 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I’ve made black bean brownies which taste incredible, so I’m tempted to try these to see if there’s a big difference. They look really good!

Anna September 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Lisa, let me know what you think. I thought these were really good and so did the rest of the family.

Cindy, thanks for the link. She used brownie mix. Interesting.

Stacie, I liked the black bean brownies a lot but I liked the texture of these better.

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I’m going to make these to take to work. A good friend I work with is gluten free and she always complains that she can’t eat goodies that people bring. These will be perfect!

Fallon September 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Very interesting!

Jess @ Bakericious September 11, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I saw the guest post from Chef dennis’s blog as well, very curious on the taste of this brownie.

Brian @ A Thought For Food September 12, 2010 at 7:51 am

I forgot to say that I have to disagree with you about your pictures. They are fantastic!

Holly September 12, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I’ll have to try these. I made cookies with chickpeas some time ago and, while they were good at first, the texture changed dramatically within 24-48 hours. The chickpeas really dried out and were hard – bleh.

Sue September 13, 2010 at 11:20 am

I like the idea of beans in brownies! I’ll have to give these a try.

justJENN September 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Yeah after I made those chickpea chocolate chip cookies…I’m over it. Your pics look nice!

Chef Dennis September 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Great job with these lovely brownie bites!! wasn’t Brians recipe great!!
Thanks so much for the mention!

Ashley September 27, 2010 at 12:36 am

How fun!

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