Food smells and tastes can bring back so many memories. When I first made these cookies and I took my first bite, I wasn’t sure what I thought. It was mildly sweet, and good, but it reminded me of something. The second bite picked me off my feet and placed me in the past.
I had a playmate named Jenny whom I played with often growing up. We both had very active imaginations that we didn’t grow out of very young (have I ever grown out of it?). Her house was on a little property that was adjacent to a large field. I remember many cold and beautiful days in the winter running over the empty field to play on a swing at the neighbors. Jenny’s neighbors were an active elderly couple who graciously allowed us to come and play on their property and eat from their fruit trees.
One day, the wife, Dorcas, invited us in and gave us some cookies. She told us that they were really healthy ones and sent us out to play. We bundled ourselves up again, and were soon happily munching on our cookies. I was by no means a “health nut” at that age. I liked my white sugar laced cookies just as much as any other kid. But there was something that was so satisfying about a hearty, not too sweet, cookie. Even then I was able to recognize that I felt so much more nourished and satisfied than if I had had a typical cookie. It was the perfect snack for two girls running outside on a windy day.
These cookies remind me a lot of Dorcas’s cookies. They are hearty, not to sweet, and satisfying. Far from glamorous, they are perfect to bring along on a hike, or (like I did today) send in your husband’s lunch for a nourishing snack. I would call this a snack more than a dessert.
I dedicate my recipe for quinoa cookies to Dorcas. Thank you for all the wonderful times….and the cookies.
Put two cups of quinoa flakes in a bowl, cover with water and soak for eight hours or overnight. Quinoa will not stay in flakes as it soaks, but will look mushy when done. Put in a fine sieve and rinse. Stir with spoon, pushing as much as the water out as you can. Set sieve with flakes over a bowl to continue to drain. ( I try to soak my grains as much as possible so that they are more nourishing and digestible. Read more about it here.) Set aside. You can skip the soaking step if you like.
Cream with hand mixture, about 30 seconds, 3/4 cups of butter, softened, in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of muscovado sugar, rapadura, or brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Mix until well combined.
Beat in two eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1 3/4 cups of flour of any grain flour combination (I used 3/4 cup or arrowroot powder, 1 cup of millet flour) and mix well. Finally add in your soaked and drained quinoa flakes (you may find it helpful to give it a few more stirs to make sure you have gotten out as much of the liquid as possible), 1 cup of raisins ( I used golden)and 1/2 cup of walnuts. Put in fridge for several hours to firm.
Preheat oven to 375 and butter a cookie pan. Drop cookie dough out of a tablespoon onto your buttered pan about two inches apart. Cook 12 to 15 minutes, until edges start to turn golden. Remove from pan to cooling rack right away, and enjoy!