The past few months have been tough to say the least, and I have been baking a lot more than usual. When the February 2020 issue of Bon Appetit arrived, I was thrilled to see there was a section all about “How to Be a Better Baker”. Good news for my habit of stress-baking. Bad news for my skinny jeans.
The Cinnamon-Date Sticky Buns and the Triple-Threat Onion Galette look incredible but those will have to wait until I have all the necessary ingredients. But you know what I do have the ingredients for? Salty Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies!
It goes without saying that this is not an original recipe. Not even a little. I give full credit to Sarah Jampel and Bon Appetit magazine for this delicious confection. You already know much I enjoy buckwheat flour, but I had never tried a buckwheat flour cookie before. Are these good? Let’s just say I have made them twice in two weeks.
I made a couple substitutes, mostly because some ingredients are hard to find during the shelter-in-place. The original recipe calls for three egg yolks, instead I used two whole eggs and saved the third for tomorrow’s omelette. Instead of all-purpose flour, I used my trusty Bob’s Red Mill rice flour to make these cookies gluten-free. I got fancy and finished the cookies with Maldon sea salt, instead of Diamond Crystal. But adding salt to dessert is very on brand for The Salty Latke … may I refer you to food commandment number four, “All desserts can benefit from a pinch of salt”.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. Diamond Crystal salt, plus more/ or Maldon sea salt
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate bar or chips (Bon Appetit recommends a bar or wafers, but I used chips because that is what I had!)
⅔ cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat – you don’t want any browning here so keep the heat down low and the butter should be melted under 5 minutes.
Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
If using a chocolate bar, coarsely chop. If using chocolate chips, no need to chop. Either way, set aside a small amount of the chocolate in a small bowl – this will be added on top of the cookies.
Pour melted butter into a large bowl, add both sugars, and whisk for 30 seconds until all the big lumps are gone.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and keep whisking until fully combined. Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips or chopped pieces and stir to distribute into the batter.
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and put in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.
Ready to Bake? Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop out 1-2 tablespoon portions of the dough. Put 9 portions on each cookie sheet – cover and chill the remaining dough to be baked later. Roll portions into balls and press a couple pieces of reserved chocolate on top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. Rotate the baking pans halfway through, top to bottom and front to back. You are looking for golden edges people!
Pull the baking sheets out of the oven and lightly tap the pan on the stove. Sprinkle each cookie with Maldon sea salt. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. If you have a cookie rack (I don’t), transfer to the rack to cool completely. Or do what I do, and gently move the parchment paper with the cookies off the baking sheet and onto the counter to cool. Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies.
Alternatively, you can bake half of the cookies and keep the uncooked dough in the fridge or freezer. When ready to bake, follow the same directions.