Category Archives: Breakfast Cookies

crunchy chocolate quinoa bars

A while ago I was at a little coffee bar on Spadina for one of their most excellent Americano’s and I picked up a little chocolate bar for a bite.  This little bar was full of crunch and was otherwise solid, melt in your fingers chocolate.

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I learned of this coffee bar, Sense Appeal, from a friend of a friend after a discussion about where to get good coffee in Toronto. There are so many delicious coffee bars in town who roast their own beans that it is incredibly hard to say which is the best, but some of them definitely stand out.  Sense Appeal is one of those and I’ve been missing it terribly since my office relocated from that area about a year ago. (Although, we moved to a new area with a different terrific coffee roaster just up the street!) However, this post is not about coffee so back we go to the chocolate.

If I were to have a cookbook, there would be a whole category called Heaven and it would contain this recipe , among others, all catering to the tastes of chocolatophiles everywhere.

So here is my version of the toasted quinoa bar.

Toasted Quinoa Bar (By Sense Appeal, as modified by me!)

Ok, this recipe is more of a guideline as I wasn’t very specific with many of the measurements.

Ingredients
10 oz dark chocolate (70% is a good place to start)
1-1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup toasted quinoa

Other suggestions:
chia seeds
pumpkin seeds
sunflower seeds
dried fruit – I’ve used dried raspberries, apricots, cranberries, prunes and dates – chopped
shredded coconut
cocoa nibs
smashed coffee beans

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These are all things I keep in my pantry so you can substitute for anything you like based on your current supplies.

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Dry toast the quinoa in a frying pan over med heat – keep watch and swirl the pan to keep them from burning.  They are finished when they are crackling and jumping and smell like toasted grain.

While you are toasting the quinoa, melt the chocolate until smooth in a double boiler or heat poof bowl and set aside. Stir in coconut oil. You will add all your ingredients to this bowl.

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I didn’t want to overwhelm the bar with quinoa but you want to use enough to get the crunch.  I filled in space with the chia seeds. They add a second level of crunch more like that of crispy rice. I used plenty of chia seeds.

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After those two main ingredients just add the others in a ratio favourable to you. I added a handful of each and stirred until it was a smooth mix of everything. There should be more than enough chocolate to coat everything but the mixture should be lumpy.

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Pour into a 9×9″ pan and refrigerate until solid. Sometimes I top it with some toasted coconut.

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aDSC06809and here is one I made with toasted coconut on the top.

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Breakfast in a cookie!

I’m always looking for ways to put breakfast into other forms… one way is by incorporating bacon into as many typical baked goods as I can. Spicy Chocolate Bacon Pie, Whiskey Maple Bacon Cupcakes… you know. But it always leads to speculation about how to get the eggs involved without losing them into the batter.

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Lately Jane (my office baking buddy) and I have been experimenting with meringue and it finally dawned on us that you can put just about anything in meringue and it’ll be awesome.  She likes to make savoury muffins and we theorized about a savory cookie, among other things. Eventually the conversation turned to bacon and the realization that if there’s no sugar, you can add whatever you want in the savoury direction! Namely, in my fantasies, bacon and hash browns. 😀

How could it go wrong?! 3 ingredients. Simple.  Well, somehow I managed to mess up the eggs… Apparently I don’t whip eggs without sugar often enough… At one point, I had mostly stiff peaks and I said ‘Almost there’ and then it went foamy… *sigh* I was on a timeline for <insert reason here> and I just went with it.   I folded in the bacon, and potato and in the oven they went!

(I have since learned that egg whites won’t stabilize well without a little sugar. So next time, I will be adding a couple tablespoons. )

They did not puff up macaroon style, due to the fluffy egg situation, but they still held together and formed a bacon, potato, foamy-egg cluster! They are actually pretty awesome and in my estimation and can only get better. I’m going to have to buy another 18 pack of eggs…

RECIPE

1 medium potato
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp sugar
3-4 strips of bacon

mmmm bacon.

Cook the bacon crispy and chop it into small pieces.

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Shred the potatoes. I used my really fine grater because I was hoping for a shredded coconut feel. I baked the shredded potatos for a bit but due to time constraints, and the fact that they already weren’t what I had in mind, I threw what I had in the mini-food processor and it turned into little potato nuggets.

Beat the eggs to stiff peaks.

Fold in the potato and bacon bits.  Since the eggs were fluffy, the batter, if you could call it that, was a little wet…but it worked out.

Spoon little teaspoon sized clumps onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325°C for 10 -15 minutes. Keep an eye on them.

They came out looking like potato bacon clouds. And they taste like it too! However, they are not meringuey at all.  I will try again. I need to experience the poofy-crispy-chewy meringue goodness, flecked with bacon and bits of toasted potato. I love it.

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