Winter: is cold nights snuggled by the fire watching movies and knitting. Cold grey days [luckily not too many in Nelson] also mean time inside staying warm and keeping ourselves occupied beyond movies. This winter I have been enjoying planning sewing projects with my 4-year-old who thrives on Mumma time doing grownup things. My Mum and Bonnema [grandma] taught me how to sew and knit and I look forward to sharing these skills with my children as they grow. There is something so satisfying [and therapeutic] about crafting and making things from scratch. A little bit like cooking I suppose, maybe why I like it so much!

You can find plenty of inspiration online and I often pin knitting/crochet projects on my Pinterest craft board so I can find them later [this is what I am knitting above without the intricate pattern and less of a sausage neck]. However I am quite old-fashioned really and love the printed word – you should see my cookbook collection – so we have been working our way through Melissa Wastney’s book of projects / Sweet & Simple Handmade. You may recall this time last year I teamed up with Melissa to run a craft & food night in Nelson with 100 people attending. Melissa is a longtime craft blog hero of mine, having started her gorgeous blog Tiny Happy over 8 years ago. Originally from Nelson, Melissa now lives in the capital with her family and continues to inspire through her daily musings on Tiny Happy.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

If you are into making things for little ones I cannot recommend this book enough, in the pages you will find 25 projects to sew, stitch, knit and upcycle for children aged new-born to 10 years. Including her signature Reversible Baby Booties – I used to buy these from Melissa for new babies when she had a craft stall at the Nelson Market. If you follow along on my Instagram feed you would have seen the cute-as skirt I made for Mika from Sweet & Simple, and I recently made some 2-year-old boy-pants. I would post a photo of them but getting a 2-year-old boy to sit still for more than half a second is not an easy task.

Just in case you need a new project – Here are a few of Melissa’s craft tutorials on Tiny Happy:

Find more listed on the left-hand sidebar of her blog.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Chocolate Chip *Chickpea* Cookies

Serving Size: Makes 24 cookies.

When we craft we like to munch on something sweet and these fudgey cookies have become our latest favourite. They are sweetened with dates and 70% chocolate, and the addition of oat flour and pureed chickpeas give them a decadent chewy crumb. Please don't be put off by the addition of chickpeas, you would never know if I hadn't told you. They remind me of chewy North American chocolate chip cookies without the bucket load of sugar and condensed milk. Enjoy!


1 cup dates*

1 cup rolled oats [GF: use 1 cup almond meal]

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 400g can, rinsed and well drained

1 free range egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

100g butter, melted [DF: use coconut oil]

1/2 tsp baking soda

100g 70% chocolate, chopped to make chocolate chips

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. *Soak the dates in hot water for 20 minutes to soften then drain well.
  2. Preheat oven 180C. Line a cookie tray with baking paper.
  3. First grind the oats in a food processor into a fine flour. Tip into a bowl.
  4. Place the chickpeas, dates, egg, vanilla and salt into the food processor and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides several times as you go to ensure an even mixture. Add the melted butter and blend to combine. Tip into a bowl and add the baking soda, oat flour, chocolate and walnuts. Mix well. [If you have a large enough food processor you can do this in the processor.]
  5. Using 2 tablespoons scoop walnut-sized balls onto the lined tray leaving space between each one. You will fit about 12 cookies per tray so bake in 2 batches. Flatten the cookies with a fork [wet the fork if the mixture is sticky] and bake for 12 minutes until golden. Cool on the tray for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


80 Comments on “CHOCOLATE CHIP CHICKPEA COOKIES + Sweet & Simple Book”

  1. The cookies and the book both look lovely! My favourite craft project at the moment is knitting and sewing little gifts and accessories

  2. I sewed for all my children and that was where I learned after all no one else could see the undies and singlets I made at first.I did some things for my grandchildren early on and now out of the blue comes an unexpected baby born as a precious surprise and I would love to make more up to date things .

  3. I like to make felt soft toys for my daughter and friends. I either sew them with store bought fabric, or need felt them. Very therapeutic and rewarding.

  4. Oooh. Needle felting for me too. And a bit of sewing when I can find the time 🙂 I also love Melissa’s booties. I was lucky enough to be given a pair from a lovely friend.

  5. I’m currently crocheting my 5 year old a scarf and will then make 3 year old some mittens to replace the socks we are improvising with 🙂

  6. I love making things – I want to learn how to crochet again, it was something my Grandmother started to teach me, but I never really got the hang of it, and both my daughters are into knitting as well, something new to learn and do together. I also love cross stich very therapeutic. Love the look of these cookies will definitely be giving them a try – thanks for sharing

  7. I remember as a kid that my nanny’s always had something simmering in the background and tried to encourage me to knit, however being the tutu that I am, I could never sit still. I did however manage to bake and cook. I would love to learn how to sew and knit xx

  8. I have just taught myself to crochet (thank you, YouTube) and am enjoying updating our cushion collection with bright, snuggly new crocheted cushion covers featuring all the new stitches and techniques I am learning!

  9. I am hving fun making zippered pouches of different sizes and shapes. They are handy and make great gifts.

  10. Yummy thank you however I put mine in the blender at that final stage and it mixed up all the chips & nuts so the mixture was a chocolate color with no pieces! Still yummy

  11. Just scored some cool art yarn, from a tiny hole-in-the-wall place in Queenstown. Looking forward to turning it into a scarf – definitely a one-of-a-kind!

  12. So many crafts, love to knit and crochet. But also love jazz in up retro furniture for our home :).love any craft books going so many ideas….so little time!

  13. HI
    I’m mostly a knitter (making a top town cream Aran sweater at the moment), embroiderer (making banners for over the door with our family history embroidered on them-9 banners), seamstress (just finished a simple ruched linen skirt for myself that I will embroider on this weekend) BUT have today started making hand bound books with youTube videos to help me along. This is my way of spending time with my 13 year old who frankly prefers to be with her friends.

  14. Where to begin with crafts…?? I am obsessed with crochet and it’s definitely my first craft of choice! I’m trying to develop my knitting skills at the moment and I also love paper crafts and sewing…crafts in general are just wonderful!

  15. I would love to be a crafty person,Sewing,Quilting,Crochet,Knitting and I would love to win this book

  16. Thanks for another sugar free recipe, I will try it tomorrow. I am teaching myself to crochet something other than a blanket! Just made a lovely beret to give as a gift and am very pleased with it.

    1. Am knitting lovely soft wool/angora neck cowly things. Big needles, big wool, easy to knit, whats not to love?!

  17. I like sewing anything that doesn’t take too long!… Kid’s shirts and undies are at the top of the list…or fabric bags to put presents in….

  18. Awesome i look forward to ready your blog and try out some of your yummies you have posted 🙂 I am finishing of loads of knitted and sewing projects that have been on the go for sometime before our first little wee one arrives in the next few months. I really want to knit a bassinet blanket or cot blanket depending on time. Would love to check out Melissa’s fun book as i grew up in Nelson with Melissa so nice to support our friends 🙂

  19. i have beed dragging around a wodge of fabric, (mostly my husbands nice old cotton and silk shirts in autumnal colours) FOR YEARS! to make a rag rug. one day i will……..

  20. I love sewing! Mainly for my kids! I’m joining in with Kids Clothes Week at the moment, but would love to sew more for myself and gain more patience for knitting!

  21. Love to knit and sew, especially on winter nights 🙂 just taught myself to crochet as well

  22. I make aprons for my children and nieces for their birthdays and photo boards for all family members, I love to put all my love into something they can use, and its practical presents, I love seeing their faces in what I have made for them, priceless 🙂

  23. As a fabric addict, I love making strip quilts to showcase beautiful fabric. I also love to screen print.

  24. I am loving sewing with my recently inherited sewing machine! I have many things in my project pile, but at the top is a curtain for a puppet theatre!

  25. Still not ready to let summer go, but this helps me look forward to those indoors, chilly, crafty nights!

  26. I am a passionate Knitter so every knitting project is my favorite 🙂 but I’m trying to broaden my skills and learn to sew 🙂

  27. I love to make colourful grocery shopping bags, makes a boring task a bit more interesting when people ask about my bags.

  28. I must confess that I was sceptical about the use of chickpeas in these cookies BUT I made them today (with chickpeas that I had soaked and then cooked with kombu) and they were heavenly. You are amazing! I must also confess that the cookies were so soft and fluffy that I used them to encase vanilla bean icecream (that I made using David Lebovitz’s recipe). The perfect dessert. Thank you!

  29. Love to knit and sew and try to get my young friends, nieces and work colleagues to take up knitting and sewing as they are such great hobbies. At the moment I’m making a 4 ply triangular scarf in my favourite colour blue.

  30. Oh, those biscuits look YUM!
    I’m a knitter at heart, but in all honesty don’t like counting patterns! My favourite thing to knit is blankets for Operation Cover Up (Mission without Borders)…they are sent to families and orphans in Eastern Europe who don’t have access to lovely wool like we do. I love that I can knit and think, or not think, watch TV, talk with friends, look out at the birds outside, knit while waiting for the doctor, and more! It’s my downtime, my relaxation, and my productivity needs are still fulfilled. However, I may be becoming a crochet addict now too…

  31. Home dying cotton, linen, silk or wool clothes from the op shop is my latest discovery – addicted to using denim blue

    1. I know it seems a little odd to add chickpeas to cookies but they are so good! I wouldn’t have shared them here if I didn’t think they were delicious. I love the fudgey texture they give the cookies 🙂

  32. Your recipes look great! Now following you on facebook. My favourite things to make at the moment are sewing various bits and pieces to decorate our new home – fabric embroidery hoops, cushion covers etc. Looking forward to sewing some things for our baby’s room that is on the way.

  33. I am working on a pair of buttoned gloves. They will look rather stylish.
    Also, throughout winter, I have been drying apples on top of my fire. Very economical and very yummy.

  34. The book looks gorgeous and would be such a treat. My fave craft that I need to make more time for is knitting. I love knitting

  35. Just fumbling my way through my first crochet project ever, your Helmet hat. Looks like my dream kids hat.

  36. The cookies are so tasty, loved the texture. Book looks fantastic. Have never crocheted before but would like to crochet a toddler cardigan.

  37. I knit, have four hats, a cowl and vest as works in progress. Wish I could find the time to finish them! I brought a sewing machine a year ago and still haven’t learnt to sew so that is next 🙂

  38. I desperately want to get a sewing machine so that i can learn how to make clothes for my children. At the moment im loving embroidery

  39. I love sewing cushions and clothes for my little ones as well as making baby mobiles and giving them to friends for their new bubbas, can’t wait to try these cookies this arvo with my little boy….. Yum!

  40. I taught myself to crochet a few months ago, I have made a headband/earwarmer and a big fluffy scarf so far to keep me cosy in Dunedin.

  41. Making kids’ clothes is my fave. I’ve had this book out from the library – it’s great! Also, I just made these cookies yesterday. They are truly fantastic, and I’ll definitely be making them again!

  42. It’s the perfect time of year for crafting. I currently attempting to knit a pair of socks, I love collecting wool and thinking about what I can knit with it. I’m better at collecting than knitting actually. Last thing I knitted was a teddy bear for my niece.

  43. These are possibly the best choc chip biscuits ever. I made a batch, substituting hazelnuts for walnuts, and I think I might just eat the whole tray!

    1. Hi Vanessa, I haven’t tried so I can’t tell you the quantities. It would be less than the tinned chickpeas with water added I imagine but not even sure if that would work as it is the cooked chickpeas that give the yummy fudgey texture.

  44. Wow. These cookies not only taste delish, the also pass my bung all ingredients into the processor and blitz approach. I did blitz the oats first but then threw the rest in. Large chunks of choc and all. New fav.

  45. Yum these cookies are so so good. Im secretly glad they are best eaten on the day as i have an excuse to eat them all 🙂 I made a batch and halved the mix and popped it in the fridge for a few days to whip up when we had friends over , perfect !

  46. Yum, I just made these. I used hazelnuts instead of walnuts and they are lovely.
    I have recently found your blog and am really enjoying it. I plan to cook many more yummy things from here. Thank you.

  47. Thanks for recipe Nicola. How can I make them egg free?Do you know the chia seed or linseed soak method?Thanks, Jude.

    1. Hi Jude, I haven’t tried making these without egg so can’t guarantee the recipe will work without. You could try replacing the egg with a splash of milk (any milk) so the mixture isn’t too dry. Or make a flaxseed/chia egg by combining 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed/chia with 3 Tbsp water, mix and leave to gel for 10 minutes. This will replace 1 egg in a recipe. Good luck!

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