The trick to making crunchy, tastes-like-they’re-fried chickpeas is a task that’s perfectly suited to tiny fingers: Removing the skins. It makes a world of difference, as steam won’t get trapped between the bean and its outer layer.
Here’s how to do it: Lay a clean kitchen towel flat and spread out a can’s worth of drained and rinsed chickpeas. Gently dry the chickpeas using the corners of the towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible, then pop the chickpeas out of their skins, setting the skins aside. (You might have a few shoot across the room, but that’s half the fun.) For extra crunch, give the chickpeas a whirl in a salad spinner to remove even more moisture.
Add the dry, naked beans to a mixing bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil and let your kid use her hands to gently coat the chickpeas. Pour the chickpeas onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast at 375° for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the baking sheet and shake or stir to roll chickpeas around. Return them to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, checking every five minutes for crispiness. (Stay close to the oven when these are roasting, because they can go from crunchy perfection to burnt bits faster than you can say garbanzo.)
Once your beans are ready, shake the seasonings over the hot chickpeas and stir to coat. Let the chickpeas cool and continue to crisp on the pan. Because chickpeas are so mild, you can add pretty much any flavorings you like—but here are five of our favorites to get you started.
BBQ: 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt
Salty-sweet maple cinnamon: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ranch: 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried dill, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper
Everything bagel: 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon minced dried onion, ½ teaspoon minced dried garlic, ½ teaspoon salt
Nacho spice: 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt
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