Quinoa-Apple-Spice Cookies

Stack of Quinoa-Apple-Spice Cookies

These "Cookies for Grown-Ups" will bring joy to your taste buds with a sophisticated, nuanced blend of flavor and texture. Earthy quinoa is offset nicely with tart apple; butter and coconut oil bring tenderness to the crumb; allspice brightens the flavor profile and varied flour fine-ness makes for engaging mouth feel.


Yield:  One dozen, 1-ounce cookies.
Time to make: 45 minutes total, including 24 minutes oven dwell.
Tools needed:  Spice or coffee grinder. Two medium bowls. Hand mixer. One small bowl. Mortar and Pestle (optional). Box grater. 13" X 20" sheet pan or cookie sheet. Bakers parchment. Measuring cups and spoons, or scale. 

Ingredients

5/8 cup (75 grams) quinoa flour
3/8 cup (70 grams) quinoa seeds
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons coarse-ground allspice (see procedure for instructions)
3/4 stick (6 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened slightly.
3 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
3/8 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup grated, unpeeled sour apple, divided
2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Procedure:

1) Heat oven to 350.  Line a sheet pan or cookie sheet with bakers parchment. Pound allspice grains in mortar and pestle or spice grinder to yield 2 teaspoons of varied chunks, making sure that all inner seeds are pulverized. Grind the quinoa seeds in a spice or coffee grinder to medium-fine, being sure all grains are broken. Use the box grater coarse side to grate the apple. 

2) In a medium bowl, place the flour, the ground quinoa seeds, the allspice, the xanthan gum, the salt and the baking powder. Whisk together to blend well. In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until light and feathery. Add the sugar and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of the grated apple and mix until integrated. Add the flour blend and mix on low speed until integrated.

3) Using the medium bowl that previously held the flour blend, toss the remainder of the apple shreds with the maple syrup. Pull off 2-Tablespoon-size pieces of the wet, tender dough, roll in your hands to form a rough sphere, then roll the sphere in the apple-syrup mixture, being sure that some shreds adhere to the dough surface. Place the rolled spheres on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing at least 2 inches on all sides. Note - the dough is surprisingly tender and can easily be overworked.

4) Bake cookies for 18 minutes, rotating the sheet once, then turn oven up to 425. Without waiting for temperature to rise, reset timer to 6 minutes. Cookies are done when edges are lightly browned and firm to the touch.

5) Remove sheet pan to a cool countertop. As soon as practical, remove cookies to a cooling rack using a pancake turner (they will continue cooking on the very hot metal pan and may burn). Allow to cool well before enjoying with an adult beverage of your choice.