Quinoa Cranberry Walnut Cookies

I thought I would try something new.  I am beginning to become interested in baking treats and desserts that are more on the healthier side of the spectrum.  I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and finally overcame my laziness to actually try to make it.

Of course the main ingredient is quinoa.  Pronounced “keen-wah”, it is protein packed and is particularly rich in lysine, which promotes healthy tissue growth throughout the body. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber. It looks a bit like couscous and is easy to make and use as rice, but quinoa has a richer, nuttier flavor than either of them.  This recipe is not gluten-free however as there is still some whole wheat flour being used.

Instead of white and brown sugar to sweeten the cookies which is what the recipe called for, I used coconut sugar.  Aka coconut palm sugar, it is made from sap of the coconut palm that has been extracted and then boiled and dehydrated.  Honey is also used.

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In a mixing bowl, I cream butter and the coconut sugar, then 2 eggs and almond extract.  IMG_7152

Once the butter, sugar and eggs are well incorporated, the rest of the ingredients can be added in slowly – quinoa, flour, dried cranberries and walnuts.

The mixture will be sticky.  It should be dropped on a prepared baking sheet in one inch drops.  I used an ice cream scoop.  I then put them into the oven at 325 for about 12 minutes.  Monitor them to make sure they don’t burn.  IMG_7153

So it should be noted that these cookies will not spread out , so if you use an ice cream scoop you will have cookie balls.  If you prefer flatter cookies, flatten them before you bake them. IMG_7155

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These cookies came out of the oven crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Definitely just sweet enough and the cranberries added a nice tart contrast.  Walnuts are perfect for crunch.  I was super surprised by the enthusiasm of my co-workers who gobbled them up.  I suppose these are no guilt cookies. =)

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