Crunchy Honey Roasted Chickpeas

It’s actually kind of a miracle that these Honey Roasted Chickpeas ever came into existence in my kitchen. Roasted chickpeas are something that I’ve never made before. I never seem to be able to hang onto my cans of garbanzo beans long enough to experiment with them. Usually they go straight from the grocery bag into a bubbling pot of chili or curry. It’s even worse in winter when I’m making soups and stews all the time in an effort to stay warm. Any can of beans is fair game for a hot meal during this time of year.

The second reason I shied away from making roasted chickpeas is that when I think of snacks, I want something sweet. Cookies? Chocolate? All day, everyday. Chips? Crackers? I need to be in the mood. You’ll hardly ever find me munching away on anything like that just because. The planets and stars need to align exactly right for me to dig into a bag of chips or other savory snack.

Unfortunately, it seems like every recipe I come across for roasted chickpeas is savory. There’s the basic salt and pepper, the spicy mexican inspired, the classic BBQ and even a Sriracha flavoured roasted chickpeas. But a sweet roasted chickpeas flavour? Nowhere to be found. So, you can see why making roasted chickpeas was never really high on my list of priorities.

Now, I guess you’re wondering what changed. Well, a couple weeks ago I woke up with an insane craving for honey roasted peanuts. It was seriously unreal. I’m not usually a huge fan of nuts on their own since, like with roasted chickpeas, most flavoured nuts are savory. But, honey roasted peanuts are more sweet than salty so they pass muster. Plus, I just could not stop thinking about them, so I had to have them.

Of course, peanuts are the only nuts that I don’t keep on hand in my pantry. I’ve got almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and even pistachios for topping oatmeal or adding to baked goods. But no peanuts. Sure, I could have just used one of those nuts instead but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have more than a few failed attempts at making flavoured nuts behind me and I wasn’t willing to risk the expensive good stuff. So, I grabbed one of my 99¢ cans of chickpeas that I’d bought just the day before and got to work removing some of the skins.

Three times. That’s right. My first two attempts at making honey roasted chickpeas tanked big time. Attempt number one was way too soft. I took the chickpeas out of the oven too soon and then added too much water to the honey mixture. They tasted pretty good but I wouldn’t exactly call them crunchy. Which is what I was hoping for.

The second attempt was a little more successful. All the chickpeas towards the centre of the pan made it out unscathed – barely – but those near the edges of the pan burned. Like black, charred, disintegrate-when-you-touch-them burned…Don’t ask.

Thankfully, that old saying – three’s the charm – was so right when it came to this recipe. The third attempt was a little more labour intensive since I decided to pop the chickpeas back into the oven after coating them in the honey mixture. But, the final product was so worth the extra time. These honey roasted chickpeas are crunchy, perfectly sweet and have a slightly caramelized outer layer that is to die for. So, the next time you decide to save your garbanzo beans for soup, chili or stew, don’t. They deserve to become something as amazing as these honey roasted chickpeas.

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