Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chewy Quinoa Bar Cookies (pareve, gluten free, Kosher for Passover)


This recipe was inspired by a number of recipes I've recently seen that call for cooked quinoa as one of the ingredients. Most caution that the cookie in question is not gluten free. I realized that if I could work out a recipe that is gluten free it would also be kosher for Passover. Because it's gluten free it doesn't have the "matzah cake-meal" taste that some members of our family complain about. If you are allergic to tree nuts, this recipe is definitely not for you.

The batter is very easy to make and requires no exotic baking equipment or hard to find ingredients.

The batter is prepared in a large bowl and mixed by hand. It is heavy and sticky, so make sure to line the pan with parchment. This will allow you to remove the baked cookie bar and cut the bar into smaller cookie squares. Baking parchment can be purchased in most supermarkets and is available on line. I often purchase my baking parchment from Plastic Container City, an on-line source for disposable baking pans and baking accessories.


Equipment:
kitchen scale (optional)
large mixing bowl
mixing spoon
silicone spatula
measuring cups, spoons
9x9 baking pan
baking parchment

Ingredients:
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c (3.8 oz) brown sugar (pack it well into the measuring cup)
1/4 c (2.5 oz)  honey
2 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp almond or hazelnut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 c (4.5 oz) finely ground nuts or nut flour (I used hazelnuts, but almonds would will work as well)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c  (3oz) cooked and cooled quinoa
1/2 c  (3oz) chocolate chips
1/3 c (1oz) coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened)

Procedure: 
1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees, the baking rack should be in the top 1/3 of the oven. Line the pan with parchment paper. Measure all of the ingredients.
2.Combine the oil, brown sugar, honey and eggs in the large bowl. Mix well.
3. Add the extracts and mix.
4. Add remaining ingredients, mixing after each addition. You will have a thick sticky batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Slip the pan into the oven, lower the heat to 350 and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 and bake an additional 20 minutes. Test to make sure cookies are done. 6.Shut off the oven and leave cookie bar in the oven to cool completely.
7. Lift the entire bar (using the sides of the parchment paper) and place on a flat surface. Cut into 16 squares. Using a flat edge spatula, slide the edge of the spatula under the cut bars and separate from the parchment. Place the cookie square on a dish or in a storage container.