Quinoa is a grass-like plant with beautifully coloured flower spikes that produce little round seeds. Quinoa has a slightly nutty taste and a nice bite. It is rich in protein, low in fat ánd gluten free. No wonder you can find it on almost any trendy menu these days. For this coconut quinoa cookie –my variation of the classic kashata cookie from Congo– I roasted the quinoa to bring out the nutty taste and added some spicy ginger to balance the sweetness of the caramel. Unfortunately the popularity of quinoa has led to a shortage in the Andes countries where most of the quinoa in the world is grown, making it expensive for the locals to buy. You could substitute the quinoa with amaranth, sesame seeds or roughly chopped cashew nuts.
Coconut quinoa cookie
for about 15 cookies
75 grams fresh coconut
(or 70 grams unsweetened desiccated coconut moistened with 1 tablespoon water)
100 grams quinoa
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
15 grams flour
225 grams sugar
Grate the coconut with a coarse grater or blitz into little chunks in a food processor.
Roast the quinoa in a dry saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes until light brown. Keep stirring, it burns easily.
In a bowl mix the coconut, the quinoa, the salt, the ginger powder and the flour.
Put the sugar in heavy bottomed saucepan and spread out evenly. Melt the sugar over medium low heat. Only start stirring when most of the sugar has melted.
Stir in the coconut mixture.
Spoon the mixture on a cookie tray lined with baking paper and spread out evenly. Put a piece of baking paper on top of the ‘dough’ and press down. If the sugar is too hot for your hands, use a tea towel to protect your hands from the heat. Let cool slightly and cut into rectangles with a sharp knife
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