Monday, March 08, 2010

Buckwheat Cookies with Cocoa Nibs

I got this delicious recipe on Orangette because it just looked so darn good, and it turns out it’s been created by Alice Medrich, the one who came up with the Chewy Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips that were such a hit! These buckwheat cookies were really, really great too. I liked them a bit better the second day, which is saying a lot. I didn’t end up with that many, because my log was a bit wider than expected and I sliced my cookies a bit thicker than ¼ inch – cooking with margarine instead of butter, there are a few concessions to make. But it’s all worth it!

I’m labelling this as nut-free, but there is one problem: cocoa nibs are hard to come by as it is, and the rare ones I’ve seen may contain traces of nuts. So even though in-and-of-themselves they are not a problem, it might be hard to find ones that have not been cross-contaminated.

1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup buckwheat flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, or dairy-free margarine
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar and salt until smooth and creamy but not fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the nibs and vanilla, and beat to incorporate, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Add the flours all at once, and beat on low speed until just incorporated. The mixture will seem very dry and pebbly at first, but keep beating, and it will slowly moisten and darken (as the buckwheat flour is absorbed) and come together. You’ll know it’s ready when it pulls away from the side of the bowl. The dough will be very thick.

Form the dough into a long (12” or 13”) log about 2 inches in diameter. Because the dough is so thick, I find it easiest to do this by pinching off hunks of dough from the bowl and lining them up on a large sheet of plastic wrap to form a log, then massaging and pressing them together to seal. Wrap well and refrigerate at least two hours, or overnight.

If you have refrigerated the dough overnight, remove it from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before you want to bake the cookies. (It’s a dense, rich dough, and once it’s very cold, it takes a little while to soften enough to slice without shattering.) Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

When the dough feels slightly softened - it should have just a hint of give when you press it with a fingertip - unwrap it and place it on a cutting board. Using a thin, sharp knife, carefully cut the dough into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place slices on the prepared baking sheets, spacing each cookie about 1 ½ inches apart.

Bake until cookies just begin to color around the edges, about 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the sheet pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through. Transfer to wire racks, and cool the cookies on the baking sheets (or slide the parchment onto the rack to free up the pans). Cool completely before eating or storing. Repeat with remaining dough, if any.


Anonymous said...

An interesting looking recipe...I'm curious about what flavour or texture you find the buckwheat imparts on the cake.

Amélie said...

As far as texture goes, I guess it's somewhat like whole-wheat flour (maybe a bit finer, but that might depend on the brand). And it tastes like... buckwheat, what can I say. :)
I think we notice the taste because wheat is our flavour-by-default, but buckwheat is different (not glaringly, but still) and is also good.