Not just a cookie, this treat comes with a fun activity to do with your friends – it’s called, “name the secret ingredient” I had to give clues, the last one being that it was a grain that starts with a “Q”. This goes to show just how delicious and non-quinoa tasting these babies are!
Quinoa (Keen wah) is a grain (technically a seed) I started using in my cooking classes almost 5 years ago – at first the kids looked at me like I was nuts but as the years went by I’d find that more and more kids not only recognized it but had eaten it before. It’s considered a “super grain” because it has all 9 essential amino acids (usually found only in animal products). Bottom line, it’s fantastic for you (as are all whole grains!) I personally enjoy the taste of quinoa, but its faint bitterness throws off my husband. For this cookie (originally in Bon Appetit) I cooked the grains in sweet almond milk; I found it nixed the bitterness completely.
The texture of this cookie is rather cakey, which made me treat it more as a snack/breakfast than a dessert. My daughter LOVED them and I actually felt okay giving them to her for breakfast (I felt it was my duty to take out and eat the chocolate chips first – being a good mom and all hehe). Make a batch of these, leaving several out for the next few days and freezing the rest in bunches of 4. Portion control at it’s finest. Due to the rate my daughter took them down, I will most definitely be making them again soon.
Quinoa Cookies with Almonds, Cranberries and Dark Chocolate Chunks
Makes 2 dozen
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat (or regular whole wheat flour)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 c. cooked quinoa (cooked in milk)*
1 c. oats
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. bittersweet choco chips
1/2 c. chopped roasted almonds
*If you start with 1/3 c. quinoa to 2/3 c. milk, the seed should triple in size to give you 1 c. total. I used vanilla almond milk but soy or regular milk would work fine.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Whisk butter, sugar, brown sugar, honey until combined.
4. Add eggs and whisk till combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts, whisk till combined.
5. Add quinoa to wet mixture and stir to combine.
6. Add dries to wet and fold till just barely mixed.
7. Add oats, cranberries, chocolate and nuts and fold till just combined.
8. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray).
9. Drop batter in 1 tbsp. amounts onto sheet spacing at least 2 inches from each other and the sides.
10. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden on the bottoms and set.