You'll never guess the secret ingredient in these moist and dense gluten free nutella blondies!
Clemson football is a fall tradition in our house. The hubs and I both graduated from Clemson, and Scott's actually a third generation grad. We used to get season tickets, right up on the 40 yard line, but we stopped a couple years ago because with travel, we were missing all the big games. Still, whenever we can, which is most home games, we make it back to our 'happy place' to see friends, family, and cheer on our Tigers.
This year is a little sad because the way our schedule has worked out, I'm not going to make it to a game until November. We missed a couple games for weddings, a couple more when we go to Vietnam, and FNCE (our national dietitians conference) is scheduled when we play Notre Dame for the first time since the 70s. Seriously Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, why didn't you consult me?
While watching the game on TV with friends this past week, I realized how much I missed Clemson tailgating. I miss having all my friends together in one place. I miss driving through downtown Clemson. I miss post game beers at the Esso. I miss having happy college memories flood back to me as we walk around campus. And I miss these incredible gluten free blondies my friend makes for tailgates (hi Tara!).
It's been a couple years since I had them, but I do remember two things. One, they were gluten free. Two, they were the best blondies I've ever had. Ever. And I've been around the block a time or two with blondies.
When I decided to create my own version, I remembered how my absolute favorite brownies are made with black beans. If you haven't done much gluten free baking, it probably sounds absolutely nuts, but trust me, it does not taste like you're biting into a bean burrito. You barely get the flavor at all and the pureed beans provides a moist and dense texture. For blondies, it seemed natural to try with garbanzo beans.
The nutella spin was a happy accident when I realized I was out of almond meal and didn't feel like running to the store. Since I had a bag of hazelnuts on hand, I pulsed them in the food processor to create a flour. Really, you could use any type of nut flour and you wouldn't go wrong!
After baking, store these brownies in the refrigerator, since the beans will cause them to spoil at room temperature. The hubs learned that one the hard way.
Gluten Free Nutella Blondies
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar, like turbinado)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place toasted hazelnuts in a clean dish towel and rub together to loosen the skins. Place 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts (leaving the skins behind) in a food processor and blend until they are a flour consistency.
Add chickpeas, coconut sugar, eggs, coconut oil, and salt to the food processor. Process until blended together. Roughly chop the remaining half cup of toasted hazelnuts and stir that in along with the chocolate chips.
Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper or grease generously with coconut oil. Scrape batter inside and spread the top even with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden and the middle is firm. Remove from oven and set aside to cool room temperature before cutting into 12 squares.
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