One outcome of working on a book about cookies with Mindy Segal is how it’s made me want to make cookies all the time. If a day goes by without a new cookie recipe, I feel somehow incomplete, like a runner does when she misses her morning run. Although I suspect what I’m feeling is probably just sugar withdrawal.
I am also a sucker for cookie ideas that come from unexpected sources. When I was in Chicago, I paged through my friend Cecile’s cookbook Memories of Philippine Kitchens. We were talking about adobo, or something to do with annatto seeds, when I flipped to a recipe for pinipig cookies. Cecile explained that pinipig is kind of like Filipino rice krispies. She analyzed the picture in the book and said the cookies did not look like the ones her mom makes. But it was too late. My curiosity was already piqued. I wrote down the recipe to make when I got home.
Yesterday afternoon, I needed a 7th-inning stretch activity to power me through the rest of my desk work. So I pulled out the recipe and tinkered a bit. I like the texture and mildly toasted flavor of puffed seeds and grains. The Whole Foods down the street sells puffed quinoa in its bulk section, so I bought some to mix with puffed brown rice. This would give me the pinipig effect. I changed the sugars and used lime zest instead of the lemon zest used in the original recipe. I also added a tablespoon of rice flour for a sandier texture to the flour, although looking back I probably would have added another tablespoon. The batter was very soft.
The resulting recipe makes a good, everyday cookie. Is it a great one? Not yet. I could have used a touch less sugar and a touch more salt. Wheat germ would have complemented the puffed quinoa better than all-purpose flour alone. Or maybe I’d go about it in an entirely different way.
Now I need the pinipig experts to come to the rescue to tell me what to do differently next time.
- 1 cup puffed rice
- ½ cup puffed quinoa
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup packed light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 large eggs
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the puffed rice and amaranth until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a bow, whisk together the flours and salt. Stir in the puffed rice and quinoa.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, break up the butter on medium speed for about a minute. Add the sugars. Zest the lime directly into the bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and airy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- On low speed, mix in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate at least overnight or up to 3 days.
- Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Portion the dough into 12 heaping tablespoons and evenly distribute onto one of the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and continue to bake until the edges are a golden brown and the tops are set, another 4 to 6 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.