Cranberry Ninja Cookies

Cranberry Chickpea Cookies, hiding vegetables in baking, Chickpeas in baked goods, healthy cookie recipes, Christian parenting

Yeah, I know, this isn’t a food blog.

But not only did I make some delightful cookies this afternoon from a recipe passed on by Sacraparental regular Daina, and not only are they healthy(ish) and made of enough weird ingredients to deserve a blog post, but Angela, food photographer extraordinaire from The Sponge, was there when they came out of the oven!

So I couldn’t help thrusting my point-and-shoot camera at her and telling her to be my food stylist and photographer so I could blog about these treats. Lucky me! Lucky all of us!

Cranberry Chickpea Cookies, hiding vegetables in baking, Chickpeas in baked goods, healthy cookie recipes, Christian parenting

Daina brought these to my attention in connection with our brilliant thread on eating more legumes. Or rather, that brilliant thread on the insane chocolate bean cake (and some other more prosaic uses of legumes).

Like that cake, these truly delicious biscuits are basically everything-free, so will suit people with most intolerances and allergies. They contain nuts, but that’s the only common allergen in them (and you could probably substitute oil if you’re used to such things.)

And like that cake, this is ninja baking at its finest. Sneakily full of good, nutrient-dense ingredients, and based not on any kind of flour but on, wait for it, chickpeas.

Some of my friends find butter-free baking to taste a bit disappointing. I think the combo of chickpeas and nuts might be the answer. These taste, frankly, buttery. They’re really very good.

My cookies are based on this recipe for Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies from Lauren Brimley, but I’ve made quite a few changes, so I’m just giving you my version below. Do head to see hers as well (especially because they have chocolate in them!).

I’m really not a food blogger, so I should add the disclaimer that I made these for the first time this afternoon, and was a bit slapdash with measuring, but it seems like very forgiving recipe. Daina also made changes when she did it and had great success.

Cranberry Ninja Cookies

(or Cranberry Chickpea Cookies if you’re not trying to be sneaky)


3.5 cups (2x400g cans for me) cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup nut butter (Daina used peanut butter; I used a blend of almond, brazil nut and cashew)
1/2 cup (or less) maple syrup (or other sweetener)
2/3 cup dessicated coconut (I used long-thread, but whatever you like will be fine)
1 cup rolled oats (or more if the mixture is too sticky once you’ve blended it)
pinch of salt
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries (or anything else you like – chocolate chips or chunks of nuts or other dried fruit… or all of the above)


Put the oven on to 180C (350F).

Chuck everything except the cranberries in a food processor and whizz until it’s a smooth cookie dough mix. Add more rolled oats if it’s too sloppy, but sticky is fine.

Add the cranberries (or whatever else) and mix in by hand.

With wet hands, form the dough into little balls and flatten with a fork. They don’t really spread, so you can cram quite a few onto baking sheets. I filled two sheets.

Bake at 180C (350F) for 12 minutes (or until they’re the colour you like). Longer if you like them crunchy. 

Made 40 small cookies for me.

Allergen notes

These cookies are:

  • Gluten-free (if you use gluten-free baking powder, and are ok with oats)
  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Wheat-free
  • Peanut-free (but obviously there are other nuts here, and you could use any nuts or seeds at all). The recipe would work fine with sunflower-seed butter instead, I would expect.
  • Refined sugar-free (depending on how the cranberries are sweetened; but maple syrup plus dried fruit equals plenty of fructose and other sugars. Fructose-avoiders could substitute rice syrup or something else.)
  • High in both protein and delicousness!

Cranberry Chickpea Cookies, hiding vegetables in baking, Chickpeas in baked goods, healthy cookie recipes, Christian parenting

Thanks Lauren, Angela and Daina!

For the astonishing chocolate bean cake (no flour, no dairy, no grains – based on beans!) and other ideas for cooking with legumes, head to the Sacraparental New Year’s Guide to Legumes.

Not only does Angela have a brilliant website that includes amazing food and beautiful photographs, you can now buy some of them at her Etsy shop. Fantastic for gifts.

And for more Sacraparental goodness, you can follow me on Facebook and Pinterest. Lots of good stuff coming up!

chocolate bean cake, great gluten-free cake recipes, dairy-free cake recipe, cake using beans, using beans and legumes in baking, Christian parenting, feminist parenting

Do you want to use one of these shiny sharing buttons?

9 comments on “Cranberry Ninja Cookies”

  1. not a wild hera Reply

    Chocolate and cranberry ninja cookies: tick! I added 1/3 C cocoa, 2t vanilla, and should have reduced the rolled oats, but instead had to add a bit of water. Plus chunks of Trade Aid dark chocolate for my half-batch.
    There are VERY FEW left of the half-batch that was chocolate-chunk-free for my husband…
    Anyway, what a winner of a recipe. Have you made it yet?
    PS Do share with anyone you know who gluten/wheat/egg or dairy-free, or anyone who likes baking for such people 🙂
    Mmm. Feeling a bit peckish now…

    • not a wild hera Reply

      The chocolate/cocoa ones aren’t as buttery – though I used home soaked chickpeas that weren’t as squishy, as well. I think maybe the originals with chocolate chips will be the absolute winners 🙂

  2. Frank Reply

    I just made these! Well sort of. I wanted nut free, so used pumpkin seed butter, which is bright green, so I added cocoa powder to disguise the greenness. We didn’t have maple syrup so I used apple syrup, which isn’t as sweet, so I added some stevia too. And I wanted gluten free but didn’t have gf oats, so I used 1/4 C of coconut flour instead. Basically the same recipe though 😉

    • not a wild hera Reply

      Ha! Love all those substitutions! Glad to hear of the option for oats – there was someone on the Allergy Support Facebook page who couldn’t eat oats (or, you know, much else 🙁 ).

      I wondered about tahini instead of nuts – is pumpkin seed butter better?

      • Frank Reply

        Tahini is quite bitter, I don’t know how it would taste. Also apparently people with nut allergies are often allergic to sesame seeds too. We just had pumpkin seed butter in the house….

  3. thaliakr Reply

    Latest substitution news:
    I made these again last night for the first time in a year (I haven’t been eating nuts).

    -2 ripe bananas instead of the maple syrup
    -more rolled oats instead of coconut
    -added vanilla essence
    -did chocolate chips for most of the batch, with a few cranberry for the non-chocolate eaters
    -forgot the salt
    -peanut butter this time

    They turned out great!

    Really delicious, and this is SUCH a forgiving recipe.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge