Chocolate Quinoa Cookies
The quinoa in these cookies makes them extra moist and fluffy!
My ultimate chocolate cookie.
Makes: 25 • Prep Time: ? • Cook Time: 15 mins
Chocolate Quinoa Cookies
Have you ever made quinoa cookies?! No, no, I haven’t gone mad. I really do put quinoa in my chocolate cookies. We know how amazing quinoa is (remember: protein, calcium, magnesium…), so why shouldn’t our favourite chocolatey treat get a look in?
When it comes to making quinoa cookies, you have two options.
Firstly, you can grind the raw quinoa in a high-powered blender to create quinoa flour (it really is that easy to make your own flour!). Then, you can use this in place of wheat flour to make gluten-free cookies. This method can make cookies that are much the same as regular cookies, so it’s a great option for people that want a gluten-free version of their favourite chocolate cookie. But, it’s not as simple as it sounds: you will probably need to use a combination of several kinds of gluten-free flour to get the right taste and texture for your quinoa cookies, to mimic the wheat version that we’re all used to. It does take a bit of experimenting to get a finished product to be proud of.
Alternatively, you can mix cooked quinoa right in to your cookie dough, and this is the option I chose for my chocolate quinoa cookies. I still used wheat flour, so these cookies are not gluten-free; rather than being a substitute, these quinoa cookies are delicious in their own right!
So, why on earth would you want to add quinoa to your chocolate cookies?
Well, as well as giving the cookies a nutritional boost, the quinoa gives them a lovely texture. These cookies are light, cakey, moist and chewy all at the same time – all the qualities I look for in a cookie! The quinoa keeps everything nice and fluffy, while also adding little bits of chewiness throughout. It’s definitely different to a regular cookie, but it makes a really lovely change from the norm – and it’s always fun to ask people what they think your secret ingredient is!
Quinoa transforms these cookies from ‘oh, look, a chocolate cookie’ to ‘ooooh there’s quinoa in that?!’ It adds a real wow factor.
Making the quinoa cookie dough is easy. If you can mix things in a bowl, you can make quinoa cookies – which is great, considering I’m usually a terrible baker. My cupcakes usually end up with a deep well in the centre (at least it’s good for filling with frosting…) – but quinoa cookies, I can do!
First, cook your quinoa as usual. You don’t need to use too much – about 50g is plenty (that’s about 1/4 cup, uncooked), otherwise the integrity of the cookie dough will be altered too much. 50g is just enough to add that awesome quinoa texture, without causing everything to crumble apart. Nobody likes a crumbly cookie!
Next, mix up a simple cookie dough; it’s just butter, sugar, egg, flour, and chocolate chips. Then just add the quinoa! This cookie dough will work on its own too, without the quinoa, but the quinoa transforms these cookies from ‘oh, look, a chocolate cookie’ to ‘ooooh there’s quinoa in that?!’ It adds a real wow factor.
When your cookie dough is ready, just roll it into balls and place them on a baking tray. I made my balls about an inch in diameter, but you could experiment with tiny cookies or huge cookies if you prefer (you will probably need to adjust the cooking time accordingly!). The balls spread out a little when they’re cooked, and the end result is a thick, cakey cookie.
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Variations on my Chocolate Quinoa Cookies
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If you add the quinoa to the cookie dough while it’s still warm like I did, it melts the chocolate chips right through the cookie dough, and you end up with the beautifully chocolatey cookies you can see in my photos. I’m a total chocaholic, so for me, the chocolatier the better.
However, if you prefer a normal ‘white’ cookie with the chocolate chips scattered throughout, just wait until the quinoa has cooled before adding it to your cookie dough – that way the chocolate chips will stay whole rather than melting away.
Or, you could go in the opposite direction, and make your quinoa cookies even more chocolatey. For super duper chocolatey quinoa cookies, add an additional spoonful of dark cocoa powder – your cookies will be a darker brown, and a bit richer. Here’s a little tip to make them really eye-catching: roll the balls of cookie dough in icing sugar before baking, and then when the tops crack you’ll get stunning dark slashes across the dusted cookies!
What do you think – will you ever be found putting quinoa in your chocolate cookies?
Here’s how to make this delicious recipe
Add the quinoa to a large pan of water, and cook until the quinoa is soft and the spiral-shaped germ has detached.
Heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
Meanwhile, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and mix well. Sift in the self-raising flour, and mix thoroughly until well combined. Add the chocolate chips.
The ingredients being mixed
When the quinoa is cooked, drain it thoroughly. For chocolate cookies, add the warm quinoa immediately to the cookie dough, and mix well until the heat from the quinoa has melted the chocolate. For chocolate chip cookies, allow the quinoa to cool before adding it to the cookie dough, and mixing thoroughly.
Roll the cookie dough into balls measuring around 1 inch, and place on a lined baking tray with a few inches in between each ball (you may need to cook them in a few separate batches). Bake for around 13-15 minutes.
Cookies fresh out of the oven
Leave the cookies to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes to firm up, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Store in an air-tight container.
- 50g (~1/4 cup) quinoa
- 125g (~1 cup) butter, softened
- 100g (~1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 225g (~1 1/3 cups) self-raising flour
- 100g (~1/2 cup) chocolate chips
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Who’s Cooking Today
Becca Pusey is a freelance recipe developer and food writer based in Hertfordshire, UK. She blogs over at Amuse Your Bouche, where she shares her favourite simple vegetarian recipes using everyday ingredients. She aims to show that vegetarian food can be just as easy to make, just as satisfying, and just as tasty as any meat dish. Oh, and she likes cheese, a lot.
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