Organic Spelt and Chia Hundreds and Thousands Cookies AND my contribution to the very first crowd sourced Bioglan Cook book- with your chance to win one coming up too.
These cookies have been popping out of the oven in our kitchen for years in one form or another. Just recently I decided that they could be so much more. They don’t have many ingredients but what they do have could be far better, and then they would not only be fun biscuits but they would be incredibly good for you too. Dah dah….! The Spelt and Chia Hundreds and Thousands cookies were born. It is a crowd pleaser with young and old and nobody knows how good they are for you, and that’s the best don’t you think?
I don’t always have to tell everyone each time something is good for them and I don’t want to constantly hear it myself either but I will just wax lyrical about Spelt flour for a minute because I think there is some confusion about it. Spelt (also known as Farro) is one of those grains that gets written about and the information gets lost in translation. Lets keep it simple.
Spelt flour – what is it….and should I care?
Spelt grains are from the wheat family and it is definitely NOT gluten free, however its nutrients are far more easily absorbed than industrial wheat.
Spelt was a staple crop throughout Europe and the Middle East from pre- history millennia. It is a slow growing, low yield crop that requires little if any fertilizing or irrigating. It grows almost anywhere, no matter the soil conditions or the temperature. The nutty tasting grain is full of nutrients that are water soluble and more easily digested than common wheat and can be efficiently grown without the enormous soil damage and degradation that occurs with crops that require heavy chemical assistance. It is naturally resistant to fungus and insect attacks due to the hard berry like husks that surround the grain. The thick outer coating also means it can be stored once harvested and stays fresh for a long period of time. The whole berry can be eaten as a grain just like barley or bourghul wheat. It’s usually partially “pearled” so that it cooks quicker. (Pearling means the outer layer of husk has been partially polished)
It sounds so good. Why don’t we grow more of it?
In the 50’s there was an industrial revolution where crops and food production of all kinds (including animals) went into fast forward. Combined harvesters and machinery to spray pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers become the norm along with even faster more efficient transport. Farro, the slow growing low yielding grain was shunned for hybridized, easy, fast growing wheat. As well as Spelt’s slow food reputation it also requires a two step harvesting process. First, harvest then remove the outer casing and then crush. Common wheat only one, harvest then crush and sieve. Spelt was pushed from the picture, till it had a resurgence in the health food industry in the 80’s. The demand for food to be pure again started growing. Spelt is back. The flour for these cookies is Australian but last week I showed you some Spelt ( Farro) couscous that is a pure Italian ancient spelt grain. See it here>
It’s a very interesting story, don’t you think? It’s all part of our evolving world food landscape.
When baking I use both the Kialla Organic spelt flour and the Kialla stoneground wholemeal spelt flour. The plain spelt flour has less whole bran and is a little lighter. This is the one I have used for these cookies. They are dipped into whole chia seeds instead of the luridly coloured hundreds and thousands I used to use. I don’t find the kids mind at all, in fact the crunchy nutty chia seeds are more fun, but if you wanted you could add just a sprinkling of colour by mixing the coloured hundreds and thousands into your Chia seeds like the ones below.
Now, a few months ago I wrote a recipe for Bioglan Superfoods and won a great prize and had my recipe published in the first crowd sourced recipe book using Superfoods. I have to tell you it is a beautiful book.
I have 3 copies of the book to give away. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you would like to win one. The draw is open to anyone anywhere. No matter who you are you will love this book. Get commenting.
Here’s the recipe for the Spelt and Chia Hundreds and Thousands Cookies. you can have your own little superfoods party.
Spelt and Chia Hundreds and Thousands Cookies
- 125 gm butter unsalted
- 125 gm icing sugar pure ( sifted)
- 250 gm Kialla Organic Spelt Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract or seeds
- 1 whole Egg Large- 70 gm
- 20 ml milk or water – just in case- don’t add
- 100 gm chia seeds
- Set the oven to 170 C. Line a flat baking tray.
- Put all the ingredients except the egg into the bowl of your processor and whizz till combined. Stop.
- Beat the egg and pour into the processor. Whizz again until the dough starts to stick together and forms into a ball. No longer. If by chance the ingredients don’t start to stick together add 1/2 tablespoon of the extra liquid and whizz. Extra liquid will change the crunchy texture of your cookies. Only add if absolutely necessary.
These can be made 2 ways. Make the dough. Rest/ chill in the fridge till firm and roll out to 1cm thickness and cut with a round cutter for OR this way, the way I prefer to make them. Roll the mixture in to a nice sausage the size (circular) that you want your cookies to be. For me that’s about the thickness and roundness as a telegraph cucumber. Chill for several hours or for days before you need (can also be frozen)
- Unwrap the sausage and cut the cookies into 1-1/2 cm thick. Round them up a bit as one side will be flat where the dough has rested.
- Pour chia seeds onto a plate . (add some coloured hundreds and thousands if you like). Dip each cookie into the seeds on one side only, and then put onto a lined tray
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. This will depend how thick you have cut your cookies. They are a bit better thinner. They will feel firmish in the middle when touched when they are done.
- Cool on a rack. Then continue with the rest of the mixture. Store in an airtight container. They will stay fresher and crunchier in the fridge and keep for a week or so,
- If you find that they have cooled a bit and when you break one open they don’t look fully cooked through put back in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Most ovens will cook in the time frame
I use both Organic Kialla Spelt Flour (Australian) and a company I love and Italian Organic Farro flour from Lario Food and Wine Co. All opinions are my own based on cooking with these products.