by Valentina


(4 servings)


  • 50 g rice flour, plus more for dusting
  • 50 g almond or hazelnut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cookie spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra cinnamon
  • 1 cup (150 g) Puglia Chickpeas, cooked
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) light olive oil or vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 egg, OR 1 ‘flax egg’ (1 tablespoon ground linseeds mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 g dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 C˚.
Combine the almond flour, rice flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and spices in a bowl and mix with a whisk to break any lumps.
Blend the cooked chickpeas with the oil until very smooth. Add the honey and vanilla, and blend again. Scrape this chickpea paste into the mixture of dry ingredients, add the egg (or flax egg) and mix until it all comes together in a slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too sticky to work with your hands, add a little more rice flour. Fold in the chocolate and mix to distribute evenly.
Break off golf ball-sized pieces of dough, roll them with your hands and flatten into a cookie shape. Repeat until you get 12 to 15 cookies. Lay them on a tray lined with baking paper.
Cook until slightly browned at the edges, about 15 minutes, more or less depending on your oven. The cookies will be very soft straight out of the oven, so wait for them to cool completely before enjoying.
Store in a tin box or in an airtight container.
These cookies can be made by omitting the egg as well. They will break more easily but will still be delicious.

Their soft and chewy texture makes them a perfect base for ice cream cookies as well!

I have never been a cookie person.
When I was little, my mom would bake at home all sorts of ciambelloni, tarts, and cakes. She was a professional cook and had worked in pastry shops when she was a kid herself, hence her dexterity when dealing with doughs and oven.
Still, we could never nail cookies.

We never seemed to find a perfect formula: she did not want them too greasy ('cookies need so much butter!' she would say), but reducing the amount of butter made them too dry, and overall the results never seemed to be worth the effort. Eventually, we just forget about trying to make any kind of cookie that was not Italian Cantucci or Settembrini.
The first time I arrived in the Us (I have lived there on and off for several years) I was greeted by the stunning variety of restaurants and cuisines. Food-wise, varied as the offer was, I never really loved American sweets. My mediterranean upbringing found them too greasy - like my mom said, too heavy, and way, way too sugary. Amongst the most popular, there are chocolate chips cookies: disks of chocolate-studded dough which size could go from sitting comfortably in the palm of your hand to a frisbee-sized cookie as wide as my face. I never fell for their buttery charm, did not like the fact that they would leave an oily mark wherever you put them, and the chewy texture they left in my mouth.

But it was in New York that I also learned about the opposite aspect of American cuisine: in a city like New York, where the vegetarian, vegan and healthy movements were quickly developing, healthy and vegan-style bakeries thrived. It was in these bakeries throughout the city that I first tasted treats sugar-free brownies, vibrant orange carrot-coconut scones, and even butter-free cookies.

These bakeries, rated amongst the top quality in the city, use a plethora of legumes to bake their sweets. And who would have thought that adding beans to chocolate brownies makes them moist and delicious, and adding chickpeas to cookie dough makes them perfectly crispy and chewy without the slightest hint of aftertaste?

Years later, I finally found the perfect cookie formula. Butter-free, and absolutely delicious.
My mom was proud. But I haven't told anyone about the secret ingredient in my cookies until they disappeared.
For that, a few hours and a couple friends were enough.

I am Valentina, a photographer. A transition from the countryside between Marche and Romagna to the USA made me passionate about green, natural cooking. Hortus Cuisine, my blog, was born three years ago from this passion, which now focuses on mediterranean diet and recipes and photography. When I am not taking photos, I love to work on my writing and on honing my knowledge about food and wine. Legumes are the throbbing heart of a blog like mine, which focuses on Italian food. Legumes are the very soul of mediterranean cooking; they are a poor yet beautiful maid, able to make a feast out of naught.