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The GFCF Recipe Experience: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Posted Feb 19 2009 6:05pm
I have to admit - I really wanted an oatmeal raisin cookie.

That was my goal as I went to the store on Thursday while Helena was a play practice, to find the ingredients for oatmeal raisin cookies. Of course, regular old oats are not GF, thanks to the wonders of cross-contamination. So one needs certified GF oats. And unfortunately, none were to be had in Missoula MT last Thursday.

So much for oatmeal raisin cookies!

That led to plan B - is there something I might be able to use to substitute for the oats? And then I remembered the quinoa flakes I had in the pantry. Maybe that would work!

Okay...let's take a break and talk a bit about quinoa. The following information is taken from the Quinoa Corporation website:

  • Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa ) is a grain found in the Andes Mountains of South America.

  • It was one of three staple foods (along with corn and potatoes) used by the ancient Incan civilization.

  • Quinoa has more protein (16.2 percent) than any other grain in the world, and, unlike other grains, contains a balanced set of amino acids (wheat and rice, for example, are very low in lysine).

  • And, of course, it's gluten free!

No wonder the Incans called quinoa the "mother of all grains!"

So why is this grain not more popular? Well, the seeds are coated with saponins, which are bitter to the taste and slightly toxic. So this covering has to be removed before the quinoa is edible. This may be one of the reasons that quinoa was rejected by the Spanish conquerors of the Incans as "food for indians," and its use by the Europeans actively suppressed. The advantage of this coating is that it also makes the quinoa inedible to birds, so quinoa growers get better crop yields!

Now, back to the cookies...

Quinoa is more useful as a substitute for rice than oats, but I thought I would try to make a "oatmeal" raisin cookie anyway. I decided to start with the recipe found on the back of the box of Quinoa Flakes we had in the pantry, with the premise that I would make a few cookies without raisins, then add raisins to the remaining batter. After I made the first few cookies, one thing was obvious:

Forget the raisins, these cookies needed chocolate chips!

The resulting cookies are quite tasty - as you will see it's hard to go wrong with the ingredients. I love the use of honey as opposed to white sugar. The recipe as written yields about 5 - 6 dozen cookies, and can easily be halved if you don't need to make as many. With four kids and two adults, the cookies from this recipe didn't last very long!!


1 cup honey
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine (I used 2 Earthbalance Buttery sticks)
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups GF flour
1 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup GFCF semisweet chocolate chips (more or less)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine GF flour, quinoa flakes, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter and brown sugar until it forms a smooth paste. Add the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until creamy.

Reduce mixer to low speed and gradually add the dry ingredients until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and mix to jsut combine.

Drop mixture by the tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet.

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