I grew up eating garbanzos.
There would be garbanzos in callos, a Spanish dish made with tripe, ox tail, chorizo, and chickpeas in a tomato-based sauce. But even though I loved callos, I didn’t like those garbanzos. In fact, I pushed those little globes away when I was a little girl.
My favorite way of eating garbanzos was in desserts.
The chickpeas would be cooked in syrup, it would be tender and sweet, good eaten warm or cold. I preferred it best in a Filipino dessert called halo-halo, a concoction made with shaved ice, milk, and a variety of mix-ins like caramelized plantains, sticky macapuno (coconut) strands, flan, tapioca, and garbanzos.
When I moved to the US, I started enjoying chickpeas in more savory forms: in hummus, salads, soups. But my heart (and my taste buds) prefer sweet chickpeas. So when I was craving a little sweet snack the other day, I decided to finally try roasting chickpeas – roasting them with brown sugar and maple syrup. Mmmm…
The roasted chickpeas became crunchy little nuggets with a tantalizing glaze, as the brown sugar caramelized beautifully and the maple syrup added more depth and a little stickiness that made them more fun to eat (because admit it, sticky food is fun food, right?).
They are very much like roasted nuts but with a little less less fat, a little more protein.
These were very easy to make: the recipe only has three ingredients, and I didn’t even use a mixing bowl. I just used a cookie sheet lined with foil.
I watched them very closely while roasting because I wanted to make sure the sugar didn’t burn. I also tossed them a couple of times to get an even coating.
Sweet Roasted Chickpeas
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then dry them with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Transfer the chickpeas to a foil-lined cookie sheet, then add the sugar and toss to coat evenly. (Use your hands – it’s fun.)
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, shaking the tray to toss midway through. After 20 minutes, add in the maple syrup, and toss again to coat everything evenly (This time, use a wooden spoon or some other utensil – the chickpeas would be very hot.)
Place the cookie sheet back in the oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes, until the chickpeas get crunchy. Enjoy!
While these weren’t exactly the sweet garbanzos from my childhood, these roasted chickpeas satisfied my craving for a sweet little treat. This is great to keep on hand for snacks, and I’m certainly making another batch again soon!
What food do you crave most from your childhood?