Monday, April 30, 2012

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate

Evan's birthday was last week, and I just realized that he didn't get a birthday cake. We went out to a fancy steak dinner on his actual birthday, and then had a night out on the the town the following night (complete with pinball, Street Fighter, a creepy warehouse, and a Seattle street dog). But, after all that, still no birthday cake. What kind of food blogging girlfriend am I!? 

In my defense, I'm convinced that Evan hates cake (trust me, he does), so it might have been my unconscious knowledge of his cake hatery that led to the lack of cake. Regardless, I love cake… so it's amazing and sad that I let a cake opportunity pass in such a way. And he's a twin, so I could have made two cakes. Twin birthday cakes would have been adorbs. What was I thinking…I even baked over the weekend! (Also, how many times did I just write cakes!?)

I suppose a late cake will have to be better than no cake. But in the meantime…quinoa cookies! You're getting older, Evan… time to start eating healthy! Or… at least pretending it's good for you, because it has quinoa in it! Chocolate chip cookies with quinoa are totally health food, right? Right?!? That's what I told myself, when I ate 7 of these yesterday. I was powering up, duh. I'm on the downhill slope to 30 myself, I need to supplement my cookie habit with a bit of nutrients now and then!

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks
Adapted from this recipe
The quinoa adds an awesomely nutty, chewy crunch and {healthy} boost of texture to your average cookie. I couldn't get over that chewy crunch! Be sure to plan ahead, the quinoa needs to be cooked and cooled before mixing up the dough. Also, buy yourself a bag of desiccated coconut, it's totally worth it. I use it in everything. 

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375° & Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In stand or electric mixer, cream butter, sugars, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Mix in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in quinoa, coconut, and chocolate. 

Plop spoon size balls of dough onto sheets an inch or so apart, and bake until golden, 12–15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 
Update: I'm getting a lot of feedback that people assumed these cookies were gluten free. This is NOT a gluten free recipe, the quinoa is simply a delicious addition to a non-gf cookie, not a substitution. However, you could easily substitute gf flours for the whole wheat flour. If you do, please let me know how it turns out! One reader swapped the flour for GF all purpose flour and added 1.5 teaspoons xanthan gum, with great results.  

Update #2: I WON the best quinoa recipe contest at Food52 with these cookies! Go check it out!!

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