Dorie Greenspan’s Double-Buckwheat Double-Chocolate Cookies

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Plainly and simply, Dorie Greenspan is my baking guru.

Her Baking: From My Home to Yours book is my baking bible.  The pages are dog-eared, floured, crinkly, and splattered with recipe shrapnel, which is always a sign of good things. Her beautiful, delicious desserts are now our birthday traditions and family favorites around here, and I’ve even featured quite a few recipes of hers right here on this blog. So, when my friends at OXO got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to have the opportunity to try out one of Dorie’s newest recipes, from her highly anticipated new book Dorie’s Cookies (Coming in October!), I couldn’t pass it up.

dories-cookies And if that wasn’t already wonderful, OXO is also donating $100 to one of my favorite groups of change-makers, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, for every blog post written. OXO is working towards a $100,000 donation goal during September, which just happens to be National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  That’s pretty incredible, and I’m honored to be a part of the campaign.

I was asked to bake up a batch of these fabulous little Double-Buckwheat Double-Chocolate Cookies, and I have to admit, I was intrigued.  As evidenced in the name alone, these cookies have a double dose of buckwheat, in both flour and Kasha form, and a double dose of chocolate, both bittersweet and cocoa powder.  There are also two ways to make the cookies, slice-and-bake and free form.  I chose the latter.  The double buckwheat had me intrigued, though.  I’ve never baked with buckwheat flour, or Kasha, and was eager to taste the result.  The result is a deliciously adult cookie.  Kind of nutty, with a special crunch.  It’s fudgy, but not too sweet, and I think it would be a fantastic addition to a wine and cheese party, or served with coffee.  Although, I’m kind of addicted to just grabbing one out of the cookie tin any time of day.

I started by prepping my ingredients.  I measured out my flour and cocoa, and got my Buckwheat flour ready to add.  My butter and eggs were at room temperature, and sugars at the ready.

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I combined the flours and cocoa with a whisk, and set them aside.  Then, using my OXO Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer, I lit things up and blended my butter and sugar until it was nice and smooth.

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I do love this mixer.  Part of OXO’s small appliance line, the Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer includes intuitive digital controls to steadily increase or decrease speed, so your batter doesn’t go flying out of the bowl, and it lights the way as it goes!

Once the butters and sugars were creamed, I added some vanilla in, mixed it some more, and then added my cocoa-flour mixture.  I blended that in until the dough started to come together, and then mixed in my chopped bittersweet chocolate and Kasha.

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(Make sure you use granulated Kasha in this recipe.  I used Wolff’s medium granulation, easily found in the kosher section of my grocery store.  Otherwise, you’ll crack a tooth!)

I mixed the Kasha and chocolate in, and then divided the dough in half.  Here’s where you need to decide if you’re going to do slice-and-bake or free form cookies.  I decided to do free form, so I pressed half of the dough into a disk on some parchment paper.

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I placed another piece of parchment on top, and then used my rolling-pin to roll the dough out into an oval that was approximately 1/4 inch thick.

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Thickness matters with this cookie!  Don’t go too thin, or you’ll end up too crispy.

I carefully flipped the dough over, on the parchment (to keep the dough from curling as it baked), and then slid the parchment and dough right onto my OXO Non-Stick Pro Cookie Sheet.  This cookie sheet rocks, by the way.  It’s huge, easy to grip, and the pattern pressed into the cookie sheet ensures even baking and rigidity.  Have your cookie sheets ever gone wonky in the oven?  Popping up in places?  Mine have.  You don’t have to worry about that with this one.

Before I popped it in the oven, I sprinkled the giant cookie with a mixture of sanding sugar and sea-salt flakes.

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I highly recommend you don’t skip this part, as that salty-sweet combo really makes these simple cookies something spectacular.

Once the cookie had baked for about fourteen minutes, still soft in the middle but the edges starting to crisp up a bit, I removed it from the oven.  I slid the parchment off the cookie sheet, onto the counter, and then Avery, my mini-Dorie, used my OXO Double Pastry Wheel to easily cut the giant cookie into smaller, more easily gobble-able (New word!) diamonds.

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I allowed them to cool completely before removing the diamonds and storing them in an airtight container.

Like I said before, this is a truly tasty, decidedly adult, cookie.  They aren’t super sweet, but just enough so. They have some really complex flavors and textures going on, which make them even more deliciously addictive.  They are light and buttery, and the buckwheat flour gives them a soft, but nutty, tenderness.  As usual, Dorie hit this one out of the park.

So thank you, Dorie and OXO, for letting me be a part of the fun!  And thank you, friends, for reading about it!  Now, get baking!  And be sure to check out Dorie’s Cookies, coming in October!

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DOUBLE-BUCKWHEAT DOUBLE-CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan's Double-Buckwheat Double-Chocolate Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60
 
From Dorie: "I doubled up on the two most important ingredients in these cookies, and I even doubled up on how you craft them. There are two kinds of buck- wheat in the cookies, buckwheat flour and kasha (buckwheat groats), and two kinds of chocolate, cocoa powder and dark chocolate. There are two different ways to make them: slice-and-bake or arts-and-crafts free-form. The buckwheat is the charmer here. The flour makes the cookies tender and gives them a subtle nuttiness that only buckwheat habitués will identify. No one will guess there’s kasha in them, but it gives the cookies crunch and a fuller flavor than you’d think you’d get from such tiny nuggets. The kasha’s got a fabulous texture too. It’s a crunch-lover’s dream. (But you must use granulated kasha, such as Wolff’s, in this recipe; whole or cracked kasha is tooth-breakingly hard.) If you roll the dough into logs, chill and slice and bake them, you’ll get cookies that are firm around the very edges and cakey, soft and almost melty everywhere else. If you roll the dough out free-form, bake it and cut it any which way the instant it comes out of the oven, your cookies will be tender through and through. (Only the thinner edges of the free-form shape crisp.) Whatever you choose, these taste better and look prettier with a last-minute sprinkle of sanding sugar and flake salt." Makes about 80 free-form or 60 round cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 2⁄3 cups (227 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (120 grams) buckwheat flour
  • 1⁄4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 cup (45 grams) kasha, preferably Wolff’s medium granulation (see headnote)
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sanding sugar, mixed with 1 teaspoon flake sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. If you’re going to make free-form cookies, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F. (If you’ll be making slice-and-bake cookies, preheat the oven after the logs have chilled.)
  2. Whisk both flours and the cocoa powder together. (If the cocoa is lumpy, sift the dry ingredients, then whisk to blend.)
  3. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and the salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Drop in the yolks and beat for another minute, scraping the bowl as needed, then add the vanilla. Turn the mixer off, add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until they are almost incorporated. This takes a minute more than you might think it should; at first the dough looks crumbly and then it starts to darken, moisten and come together. Mix in the kasha and chopped chocolate. Use a large flexible spatula to give the dough another few turns and mix in any loose ingredients.
  4. Turn the dough out and divide in half.
  5. To make free-form cookies: Shape each piece of dough into a disk. One at a time, place between pieces of parchment paper and roll out to a thickness of 1⁄4 inch. It’s the thickness, not the shape, that matters. (I usually go for a rough oval or round.) Peel away both pieces of paper from one piece of dough, then return the dough to one piece of paper and slide it onto a baking sheet (if you don’t loosen the bottom paper, the dough will curl during baking). Repeat with the second piece of dough. Sprinkle the dough with the sugar-salt mixture.
  6. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back at the midway mark, or until the cookies are set — the edges will be more set than the center, which might still have a bit of give when gently prodded. Slide each cookie slab, still on the parchment, onto the counter. Using a pizza wheel or a knife, cut the big cookie into as many cookies of whatever shape you like. I cut it into strips about 1 inch wide and then cut these diagonally so that I end up with diamond-shaped cookies. Slide the cookies, still on the paper, onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
  7. To make slice-and-bake cookies: Roll each piece of dough into a log that’s 12 inches long. Wrap well and freeze for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  8. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven as on page 203. Slice each log 1⁄3 inch thick and place the cookies about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Sprinkle with the sugar-salt mixture.
  9. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back at the midway mark, until the cookies are firm around the edges and give slightly when pressed in the center. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.
  10. Storing
  11. If you’d like, you can freeze the dough, either rolled out or shaped into logs, for up to 2 months; be certain to wrap it well. The logs can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The cookies can be baked (or sliced and baked) straight from the freezer; add a minute or two to the baking time. The cookies will keep covered at room temperature for about 4 days; they can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.
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