I have a soft spot in my heart for more unconventional flours. In the baking aisle, I stare longingly at the spelt and kamut flours, the corn meals, the bran, etc... Inevitably, I crack, and I bring home some treasured bundle that ends up being used that week and then left in the pantry mercilessly under-appreciated. But this should not be so! Therefore, I have been on a small mission to use up the pantry staples that never quite became staples. Today's offering is a buckwheat take on that beloved icon of baked goods, the chocolate chip cookie.
Buckwheat chocolate chip cookies
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350ºF, with rack in the middle. Grease cookie sheets or sheet pans (2 to 3 will be necessary, or you can of course bake in batches).
Cream together the softened butter and white and brown sugar until obtaining a light paste. Beat in the almond butter, then the eggs, salt and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buckwheat and all-purpose flours with the baking soda and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients into the paste with a spatula or wooden spoon.
If using a bar of baking chocolate, cut it up into a variety of sizes with a sharp knife, so as to obtain larger chunks as well as much smaller ones. I used a combination of leftover chips and baking chocolate discs, which resulted in a whole slew of shapes and sizes. Mix chocolate pieces into the batter.
Form tablespoon-sized balls of dough and arrange them on the baking sheet(s). The cookies will not pool or expand outward very much, so they can be relatively close together. Along that same vein, press the balls of dow down slightly with your fingers, as they will not flatten significantly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. When removing the cookies from the oven, let them cool at least partially on the sheet, as they will be still too soft to handle. Yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
When the cookies are cool, they are soft and chewy, but not in the same dense and gooey way as a typical soft chocolate chip cookie. The buckwheat flour and almond butter add a pleasant nutty depth to the taste of the batter that complements a dark chocolate well. The dough is not very sweet - there is enough sugar in this recipe for my taste, but I think it would certainly not be cloying to up the granulated sugar level to 3/4 cup.