Friday, November 8, 2013

Quinoa Cranberry Coconut Almond Cookies (vegan)

Sometimes when I experiment with recipes they turn out great and sometimes they turn out so so. (Okay, yes, sometimes they also do not turn out at all!)
This recipe needs a little tweaking but, as is, I absolutely love the flavor. Even the texture is nice. The problem is that it is too delicate. It needs something to make it stronger so it won't crumble. Normally I would say to add an egg - but that would defeat the purpose of making this a vegan cookie. 
Here is how you can get this cookie to work - make small cookies (about 1 Tbsp balls) and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking it. 
Keep reading after the recipe to see what happens if you don't do these 2 things!
P.S. - We would love to hear from seasoned vegan cookie bakers about tips for making stronger cookies!

Quinoa Cranberry Coconut Almond Cookies (vegan)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup almonds, toasted & chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using electric beaters, beat together coconut oil and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in brown sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the coconut milk and vanilla until well blended. 
With the beaters on low, beat in the dry ingredients.
Stir in the quinoa flakes, cranberries, and almonds.
**Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.**
After dough has chilled; using a small cookie scoop, or spoon, drop rounds of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. 
Bake at 350 until cookies are golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. 
Remove from oven, let cool on cookie sheet for 8 - 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack and let cool completely. 

Now...if you decide to make the cookies bigger - say the size of a large cookie scoop - and you decide not to chill the dough, here is what may happen...

See, they look okay on the cookie sheet. But....

They spread like crazy. 
Also.... they are super de duper crumbly. I got them off the cookie sheet onto the wire rack using a spatula but once they cooled and I went to pick one up. 
Cookie explosions happened. 
Now let me tell you how to turn a cookie lose into an apple crumble win:
Take 3 - 4 apples, peel them, core them, and chop them. Place them into an 8 - 9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake in a 375 oven until apples are fork tender. 
Once tender, crumble the cookies over the top.

But back in the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
Remove from heat and serve warm.

I prefer mine with a bit of whipped cream, of course...

So, there you have it.
Chill the dough and make small cookies OR don't chill the dough, make large cookies, and end up with tasty, tasty apple crumble topping.
Up to you.
It's win-win baby.

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