They look like your everyday chocolate chip cookies, right? WRONG! These babies have chick peas in them. Yes, you read correctly, chick peas!! INow, I am no stranger to these lovely legumes, having been a vegetarian for a large portion of my life, however you don't find many children amongst their fan list (or many non-vegetarian adults for that matter). That is why these cookies are so ingenious - they get kids and adults alike eating this nutritious powerhouse that is full of zinc, calcium, folate and protein. Adding them to these cookies also lowers their glycemic index rating (meaning the carbohydrates are released gradually, which is especially good for diabetics like myself, but also good for everyone) and increases their fibre content. And there is 1 serve of vegetables in every 5-6 cookies, not bad for something that tastes so good!
I tried these cookies out on 4 people and asked them what they thought my secret ingredient was. No one even came close. Mum confidently exclaimed that it was bran, but there is no bran in sight (or taste!), other people guessed oats, which are in there, but aren't the major secret weapon. Mum's boyfriend refused to eat any after he found out what was in them, which is probably a lesson not to tell your children about the chick peas!
You may have already guessed that this recipe is from this weeks Cookbook Challenge book 'Deceptively Delicous' by Jessica Seinfeld. I bought this book after seeing Jessica's appearance on Oprah, sad I know! I just loved the premise of it, I think it appealed to the budding nutritionist in me. Basically the book shows you how to hide fruits and vegetables in childrens meals by pureeing them. Some of the recipes are quite obvious and/or tricks that most parents would already have used on their kids, such as hiding vegetables in meatballs, burgers or pasta sauces. But others are a little more extreme, such as these cookies, the chocolate brownies with carrot and spinach in them or even hot chocolate with sweet potato in it. I have bookmarked so many recipes to make out of this book and I don't even have any kids yet! Watch out for a breakfast recipe which I plan on making this weekend.
Deceptive Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 30
Preheat oven to 175C and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1C firmly packed brown sugar & 3/4C margarine until smooth. Beat in 2 large egg whites & 2tsp vanilla extract, then add 425g canned chick peas, drained and rinsed & 2C dark chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with a clean, dry tea towel while mixing in the chickpeas to stop them flying all over the kitchen. Add in 2C plain flour, 1/2C rolled oats, 1tsp baking soda (don't add baking powder like I did or they will be very cakey) & 1/4tsp salt, and mix on a low speed until a thick dough forms.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking trays (they don't spread much) and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until just set, do not overbake or you will be able to taste the chick peas. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (again, skip this step and you will be able to taste the chick peas!). Then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
PS - That is part of our pretty new garden you can see in the background of the photos, we have a beautiful courtyard full of flowers outside our dining room window. I'll have photos of the house soon...