Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quinoa Cookies

While dashing through Whole Foods on my lunch hour on a fruitless search for pre-packaged Daiya, I happened passed a display of samples for Andean Cookies: made with quinoa.  Quinoa?  In cookies?  I grabbed a few as I made my way to customer service to inquire- yet again- as to when they expect the Daiya.  Same drill: I have to explain what it is whilst they look at me quizzically, then spell in a million times and wait whilst they call people from "dairy", pre-packaged goods, etc., only to ultimately be told that Daiya doesn't come pre-packaged.  I suppose they're right in the if-we-don't-carry-it,-it-doesn't-exist way of thinking.  Argh.  At least my annoyance was slightly hedged by the unexpected cookie booty.

I went back to my office and googled Andean; it seems they offer three types of quinoa pasta and five flavors of quinoa cookies.  I had snagged chocolate chip (score!) and cocoa orange (skeptical), but the other varieties available are orange essence (too fruity for me), raisins & spice (crumbled on pumpkin pie?), and coconut (yum!). 

Although the website lists ingredients, there was no mention of the word vegan (although gluten-free is prominently displayed) that I could find.  I emailed the company and received a response from the owner practically immediately, confirming that all of the products are vegan.  A+ for customer service, A+ for being vegan, C- for not clearly and proudly proclaiming vegan status.  Say it proud, people:  **update: A+ for printing "vegan" on the packaging.  And an F for me for not noticing; thanks to Anonymous for pointing out my error!

I tried the cocoa orange first, expecting not to like the fruitiness.  Surprisingly, the citrus flavor was so subtle that it merely added a pleasant layer to the overall chocolatey taste of the cookie, instead of a gag-worthy fruit/chocolate combo.  The taste and the texture reminded me of those little chocolate cookies that came in kid-sized boxes with a string handle in the 70's; you know the one, the front of the box had a picture of a chocolate cookie with a drawing of a cat-face on it?  ** update: Nabisco Chocolate Snaps from the eighties!  Anyhoo, the cocoa orange was suprisingly yummy.

Next up was the chocolate chip.  I am a big fan of chocolate chip cookies, yet I rarely find one that I like.  This cookie was good!  Not only was it full of plenty of chips, but the little quinoas were like tiny crispies; much better than I could have imagined and definitely my favorite of the two tasty varieties.  I think that this is what is referred to in the ingredients as "quinoa pop grains".  Pop, crunch, crispy: whatever; they added a delicious crunch to the otherwise sufficiently yummy cookie.

The texture of both of these cookies was crunchy, but not dry; I wouldn't have guessed they were gluten-free.  Overall this was a nice find and I wanted to give the company a little shout-out on my tiny blog.  Good looking out for the vegans!



    It says 'vegan' on the packaging :P

  2. Doh! I have two excuses in my pathetic defense:

    1) I was dashing through the store at record speed.

    2) The wonderfully, individually wrapped cookie labels didn't say vegan.

    THANK YOU for pointing this out & kudos to Andean Dream for rockin' the scary "vegan" word on the packaging!

  3. I am glad I found your article while googling my favorite cookies. Ever since I discovered Andean Dream cookies, I haven't purchased any others.

    For sure my favorite flavor is cocoa orange and in second place is the chocolate chip. Wonderful and full of great protein!! You are absolutely right when you say that the citrus flavor in the cocoa orange is perfect... Just the right amount of each flavor!

    Ok, I'll stop ranting, it's just these are my favorite cookies... I eat them in the morning and throughout the day!


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