Peppermint Quinwhaaa? Yes, I did.

r&j 009

So, I found this recipe and thought, "Huh, sounds like Russian Tea Cakes, but weirdly filled with peppermint." And that's pretty much what they are.

Dough ingredients:
1.5 C white whole wheat flour
1 C AP flour
1/2 C toasted quinoa
1 stick margarine
1 stick butter
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling/frosting ingredients:
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C finely crushed candy canes (about three 1 oz canes)
2 TB light cream cheese
1 tsp skim milk

Mix butter and powdered sugar until well combined, scrape down edges and bottom of bowl. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and quinoa and mix until just incorporated. Refrigerate dough for an hour, until chilled.

While dough chills, mix together the powdered sugar and crushed candy canes. Save 1/4 C of this mix to dust cookies with. Add the cream cheese and milk to the remainder and mix until incorporated.

After dough chills, reserve 1/2 C and form the rest into ping-pong sized balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets, at least an inch apart. With the bottom of a wooden spoon or your (clean) pinky fingertip, make a deep indentation into each ball. Fill with 1/4 tsp of the frosting/filling mixture. Form little disks or caps with the dough you've held in reserve and cover the filled center. You will have to reform the dough into balls.

Bake 15-20 minutes at 350F. Cool on wire rack, then frost and dust.

Because I used the whole wheat flour, quinoa (none of the natural oil pecans would bring) and margarine, my dough came out a tad crumbly and hard to work with. I also somehow ended up with a large amount of the filling leftover, so since mine came out ugly, I decided to frost them and dust with the powdered candy cane I had left. It also ups the peppermint flavor a bit.

r&j 011
(Gah, I can't get the hang of this new camera - the focus isn't quite on here.)

All in all a very interesting cookie. The quinoa adds a nice crunch and does have a nutty flavor of its own. It definitely is a Russian Tea Cake with peppermint, as you still get that wonderful melt-in-the-mouth butteriness of the cookie. I might actually have added peppermint extract in place of the vanilla if I'd had any, because even with the crushed candy cane, the peppermint flavor is subtle. I'd definitely experiment with these again.

ETA: The peppermint flavor really developed. These are pretty tasty, as odd as they sound.
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