Let Cookies Be Cookies

From the “Seemed like a good idea at the time” or the “Some things just shouldn’t be” file:

I made a batch of my favorite oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies the other day, and thought I could make them a little bit healthier by tossing in a quarter cup of amaranth seeds. Amaranth seeds contain a nearly complete protein and are high in iron and other minerals. Usually I put them in my oatmeal while it is cooking — either raw or popped in a hot dry skillet — or in my favorite whole-grain sunflower seed bread (I’ll post a recipe someday), two places where the seeds will soften.

But adding the amaranth seeds to the cookie dough was a bad idea. They make the cookie look a little more interesting — the amaranth seeds are the small light-yellow dots in the photo below — but cause trouble for the cookie’s texture. Amaranth seeds are tough little things, and can be hard on the teeth and disrupt the cookie’s “cookie-ness”.

My lesson from this experiment: Let cookies be cookies. Save the multigrain concepts for oatmeal and other “wholesome” dishes.

Note: The title of this post was inspired by the title of Langston Hughes’ 1938 poem Let America Be America Again. My plea about cookies, however, is much less righteous and far more frivolous.

Indexed under Baking, Ingredients
Technorati tags: Baking : Food


  1. Hello!

    Hey, good idea for the amaranth seeds, but sadly amaranth takes too long to cook. For a similarly powerful protein, gluten-free and whole grain-ness, I would suggest you try quinoa. There is a quinoa cookie out there that is interesting: http://www.andeandream.com which uses quinoa flour and some whole quinoa in it.

    I would suggest the same- you can get flour by grinding quinoa in your coffee grinder.

    I think that the best option would be to use quinoa flakes (rolled quinoa) in your cookie- they cook almost instantly and provide all the nutritional benefits. I can send you a sample if you want.

    Check here for some recipes:



  2. Sergio —
    Thanks for the suggestions. I had forgotten about quinoa. I know I can get the whole grain at my favorite local grocery, but will have to keep my eyes open for the flakes.

  3. oh thanks Sergio 4 mentioning the seeds can be ground in a coffee grinder! I got one for Christmas! 🙂
    Marc, I wonder if you soaked/cooked the amaranth seeds 1st and then added to the cookie dough?

  4. KeRobinson — I didn’t soak or cook the amaranth before I added it to the batter. That’s a good idea, wish I would have thought of it before I made the cookies. I also could have popped the amaranth first (in a heavy, dry pan over medium high heat) to make it easier to eat.

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