I don’t know if y’all saw the scandalous news this week about Red Velvet Cafe (a vegan-friendly restaurant here in Las Vegas) – if not, click here for the story. I can’t say I’m surprised the “27 calorie” cookie claims turned out to be untrue, It’s just that deep down, I wanted to believe them so bad! Just to put it in perspective, these low-cal treats were a Godsend for anyone semi health conscious and/or trying to watch their figure, and not to mention reassurance that the occasional overindulgence wouldn’t do a ton of damage. It’s a bummer since I was a huge Red Velvet Cafe fan, and it was always a convenient lunch spot since it’s walking distance from my office. Sad to say, I won’t be going back – not because the food isn’t delicious, but because I believe restaurant-customer full disclosure should go without saying 100% of the time. As far as I’ve heard, Chef Aneesha Tolani hasn’t yet responded to the article (or this other one featured on Dirty Dining), nor has anything been posted on their social media, which is sort of surprising and disappointing. Now, they’ve got a disclaimer up on their website about “outside lab testing” – classy! I wonder if that’s new? Silver lining – it’s a good reality check, a reminder that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is, and another reason why cooking at home more often is the best way to go.
On to bigger and better things.
Actually no – another reason I’m pissed at Red Velvet Cafe is because ever since I was introduced to these supposedly low-cal cookies with secret ingredients, I’ve never stopped trying (and failing, obviously) to recreate the recipe, and I can’t get those hours of my life back!
They may not be 27 calories, but these garbanzo bean (or as I like to call them – “dessert hummus”) cookies come out to around 130 each with a batch of 12.
Vegan Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Makes 12-14 cookies
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp peanut butter (I used Trader Joe’s crunchy unsalted. Note – you can use any kind of nut butter or sunflower butter for this, but try to keep the oil out unless you want really moist cookies…which are actually kind of amazing)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt (if you’re using unsalted peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate mini chips)
- Preheat your oven to 350* F.
- Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
- Transfer batter into a large bowl, add the chocolate chips and mix until combined. Note – at this point you’ve got some delicious cookie dough so you can totally stop here if you want, just don’t forget to turn off our oven.
- For warm and melty cookies, roll 1″-1 1/2″ balls and place onto a baking sheet or parchment paper. Push down with your palm to flatten (they won’t spread out in the oven).
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before eating. Then eat.