Monday, April 14, 2008

Playing with Teff Flour

First and foremost the fact that chocolate is on my superfood list makes my heart sing!! It just about makes up for the fact that wheat is on the avoid list.

So one thing I've been doing with my food list is google searching and or hopping on Wikipedia to look up foods I've either never heard of or am not too familiar with. At the very bottom of my carb list it says, "Teff", and I had a series of thoughts that went something like, "hmmmm, never heard of that...", "what the heck is that?" and "what the heck can I do with it?"

Google to the rescue! What in the world did we do before Google?? Anyway up pops Bob's Red Mill: and there are 15 recipes that use Teff Flour! Whoo Hoo!! Jackpot!

One in particular catches my eye-Chocolate Mint Refrigerator Cookies, because I have all the ingredients less the Teff, which I pick up during my next grocery run. I'm so excited that everything is on my good or neutral lists that I whip up a batch of cookies as soon as I return from the store. Here's the recipe for you to try.

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Mint Extract
1 cup Teff (Tef, T'ef) Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/8 Salt
1 cup Walnuts-Baker's Pieces-optional
Cream together butter and honey. Add vanilla and mint extract. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add walnuts. Place in plastic bag, and shape into a log about 1-1/2" in diameter. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice refrigerated dough into 18 cookies. Place on oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning. Makes about 18 cookies.
Variations:*Substitute carob powder and chips for cocoa powder and walnuts.
*Substitute chocolate chips, almonds, pecans, flaked coconut, minced dates for raisins and walnuts.
*Substitute cashew butter, almond butter, or tahini for butter.
*Add 1 tsp baking powder and bake as drop cookies without refrigerating. I added b. powder and it still need fridge time for sure!
Serving Size: 1 CookieCalories 170, Calories from Fat 90, Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 3.5g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 5mg, Total Carbohydrates 19g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 8g, Protein 3g.

I loved these cookies! They were my first discovery of something "bready" I could make using only ingredients that are good for me! While Teff Flour, at least in this recipe, is a bit on the grainy side, the flavor and the fact that these cookies are actually good for me, far outweigh the grit factor!

I'm still working on perfecting the final product but so far making cookie balls (I opted out of trying to make a log) larger than smaller is good, a smidge smaller than a golf ball, and waiting til they're completely cool before removing them from the pan is important if you want them to retain any sort of recognizable shape. Also timing for me was much less than the recipe says. It's possibly because I was using a toaster oven, though that hasn't ever effected timing for me before. Mine were done in about 7 minutes so don't put them in and walk away like I did for the first batch. It was not good... By the way they weren't named Refrigerator cookies for nothing. Refrigeration is an important step and even though they said the butter should be softened, next time I'm going to try cutting in cold butter to see if they hold their shape better, and if they actually turn out looking like edible cookies I'll post a picture :-)


Kristi said...

Would Teff Flour be good for a sourdough type recipe? With it being so airy already, I was curious.

Chelsie Kane said...

I did try making Injeera as well. It is ethiopian flat bread in which the Teff flour and water are left to ferment for a couple days before cooking. Next time I'll let it ferment for less time, as the sour flavor was a little stronger than I would've liked. I'm guessing that most restaurants here in the States use mostly wheat flour in their Injeera recipes for a milder taste, but since that's not really an option for me I'll play with how long I let it ferment to get the taste where I want it. I haven't tried to get it to raise with yeast yet, so I don't know about making conventional bread with Teff, but I'll keep you posted!

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