Gluten Free Foods have come a long way, in my opinion – especially in the area of desserts. You have to get creative, to be sure, but you can enjoy some mighty tasty treats. Like these Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Quinoa Sugar Cookies.
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Gluten Free Foods for Baking
If you’re here just for the Quinoa and Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies, skip to the end. If you need some information on gluten free foods for baking, read on.
So, lets talk about a few gluten free foods in the realm of baking. I have a short but seriously cool round up of information on gluten free baking foods here:
From Gluten Free Mommy – Gluten Free Grains 101: The Best Flour Blend. This is the ultimate post on what you need to know regarding gluten free foods when you’re baking – particularly flours. There’s information here on how to store your GF flours, what goes into commercial brands, how you can make your own. There’s also information on the necessary additives to make GF flour stick together – items like potato starch and xanthan gum. She also lists her favorite commercial brand which happens to be mine, too – Bob’s Red Mill.
Make Your Own Gluten Free Mix and Baking
Here’s one from Gluten Free Girl – a video on how to make a GF all purpose flour mix, including a list of GF flours you may want to try. This one lists some bean flours, which I’ve tried before with some success. Each one has a flavor all its own so experimentation is a must as you’re searching for just the right flavors in your gluten free foods.
The Kitchn has their own round up post – 29 tips, ingredients and recipes for GF baking. This post is an incredible resource for all the questions you may have about gluten free foods in your baking endeavors. The article talks about what it means to be gluten free and how to make your own GF mixes. She also lists resources for locating quality products for your gluten free foods.
Whole New Mom has some general gluten free baking tips in this article. This one is a great one for beginners as it explains how things work and what you can do to make them work.
How to make quinoa flour
I went through a period when I couldn’t eat any kind of grain without getting sick; I finally figured out that my gut was badly broken and needed healing. Slowly, I worked through the issues and, although I don’t eat a ton of grain now, I can manage some.
I still love quality gluten free flours, though, and use them all the time. I’ve made my own mixes but I finally found one that I love – the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 mix. I used this fabulous flour and coupled it with a homemade quinoa flour to bring you these quinoa and dark chocolate sugar cookies. I love the nutty, wholesome richness of quinoa flour and its easy to make your own.
Wash Off the Soap
Quinoa is really a seed and it has a saponin layer that covers it so you NEED to presoak it no matter how you’re using it.
Quinoa is a great gluten free “grain” and can be cooked up to use in place of rice; it also makes a wonderful casserole filler and an additive to wholesome soups.
To prepare it for cooking, measure out how much you’ll need, put it in a non reactive bowl and cover it with filtered water. Let it sit for a few hours and then rinse it several times to get the soap off and cook it up.
Quinoa is Easy to Sprout for More Health Benefits
I like to sprout my quinoa, too, since its so easy. Instead of soaking it for a few hours, soak it overnight and then rinse the quinoa. You’ll know its sprouted when you see a little white tail.
To make flour, spread your soaked, sprouted and rinsed quinoa onto dehydrator trays or onto a cookie sheet, if you don’t have a dehydrator. To keep the tiny seeds from falling through the cracks on your dehydrator tray, you can use these sheets and they work beautifully. I usually dry mine at a raw setting (around 115) but you can crank it to 135 and it will go faster.
It really doesn’t take too long because these buggers are so small. Check your favorite dehydrating manual for specific times and temps. If you’re using your oven, put it on the lowest setting possible and just keep checking it. The quinoa should only take an hour or two.
Finally Grind to Make Flour
After the quinoa is completely dry, put it in the blender and hit your highest setting. Do a cup at a time, pause to stir or shake down and then grind again to get it as fine as you can. Quinoa is light and dry and it should blend up pretty easily.
If you need to know more about making your own baking supplies, please visit this post.
This recipe is adapted from a fabulous quinoa cookbook called Quinoa: The Everyday Superfood. I own it and highly recommend it. Not all the recipes are gluten free, fyi, but all the ones I’ve tried have been very tasty. My kids eat them, so there you go.
If you need to freeze these cookies, you can do so for up to eight weeks. If they last that long. You can also store them well in the refrigerator for up to ten days. If they last that long!
If you need a good post on how to make the healthy, homemade chocolate hazelnut spread (read Nutella) mentioned in this recipe, please visit this link from Chocolate Covered Katie.
Recipe for Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Quinoa Sugar Cookies
For a sweet biscuit, leave off the powdered sugar; for a real cookie, lightly dust these babies in it.
- 2 Fresh Eggs
- 2/3 Cup Organic Butter
- 1 1/2 Cups Raw Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Organic, Fair Trade Cocoa
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Milk
- 1 Tsp Organic Vanilla
- 1 1/3 Cups Gluten Free Flour, I used Bob’s 1 to 1
- 1 1/3 Cups Red or White Quinoa Flour – I had red, so that’s what I used
- 1 Tbsp. Aluminum Free Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
- Powdered sugar, optional
- Cream butter and sugar. Add, eggs, vanilla and cocoa; mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix dry and wet together until well blended. Form into a ball and refrigerate for an hour*.
- Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness and use your favorite cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
- Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
- IMPORTANT – let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for at least five minutes before you move them to a baking rack or they’ll fall apart. A bit of extra care can go a long way when working with gluten free flours.
- Roll these in homemade powdered sugar or spread them with homemade hazelnut and chocolate spread. OR just eat them plain because they’re divine.
- * I usually wrap my cookie dough in a silicone baking sheet and then use the sheet for baking up the cookies.
- If you reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup, these make awesome sweet-ish crackers. You can still roll them in homemade powdered sugar (or slather them in homemade hazelnut spread) to sweeten them up, just like the full sugar variety. I loved them plain!
Do you have a favorite way to use quinoa? Did you know you can grow your own quinoa?