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Friday, January 27, 2012

Dark Chocolate Almond Cranberry Quinoa Cookies

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As it turns out, quinoa is not just a healthy ingredient, but it’s pretty darn versatile too! After using it in chili, salad, and meatloaf, I’ve discovered it’s one of those staples I need to keep on hand in my kitchen. Even better, I can now use it for COOKIES! I first saw these Bon Appetit cookies on Baking and Boys and made a mental note to try them sometime when I had some extra cooked quinoa. No less than a day later, my mom arrived in town with a Tupperware full of cooked quinoa! Aren’t moms the best?!

After making a batch of my favorite quinoa fried rice, I still had some quinoa left and remembered the cookie recipe. I mentioned to my mom, my friend Colleen, and Ryan that I intended to make quinoa cookies. All seemed intrigued and a little skeptical. As it turns out, Colleen thought I planned to use the leftover quinoa fried rice in the cookies!

Because all cookies are better with chocolate, I added a handful of dark chocolate chips to the dough along with the dried cranberries and chopped almonds. The dough, even with the quinoa folded in, tasted no different than your standard cookie dough. These cookies baked up nicely, although I made them quite a bit smaller than the original recipe called for (and consequently took them out of the oven a few minutes earlier). Although they were good at room temperature, I had a sneaking suspicion they’d be really good cold, so I stuck a bag of them in the freezer. As it turned out, my favorite way to eat these cookies was straight from the freezer. They were still soft enough to bite into and had a great crunch from the almonds and cold chocolate chips.
Next time you’re matching a batch of quinoa, make a bit extra and give these cookies a try…you can’t beat cookies with an extra boost of protein!

One Year Ago: Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls
Two Years Ago: Puppy Chow

Dark Chocolate Almond Cranberry Quinoa Cookies
from Bon Appetit January 2012

-1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 cup light brown sugar
-1/4 cup honey
-2 large eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
-1 cup old-fashioned oats
-1 cup dried cranberries
-1/2 cup slivered unsalted almonds
-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, both sugars, and honey for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extracts. Beat until pale and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, beating until mixed in.
3. Stir in quinoa, oats, cranberries, almonds, and chocolate chips. Spoon dough (2-tbsp--I made mine closer to 1 1/2 tbsp) onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 11-13 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.