Back when I was pregnant, I would go on a fun little detour every so often. The subway would reach my home stop in lower Manhattan, but I'd ignore it and continue straight into Brooklyn... York Street... Jay Street... Bergen Street. "That's my stop!" I'd say to myself, emerging from the underground, still trying to catch my breath with my ever-growing belly, before orienting myself and walking up that block-and-a-half stretch of Smith Street to Bien Cuit.
Bien Cuit is a bakery filled with all of my sourdough, yeasted, and laminated dreams. Its classic croissant first hooked me in, but I just loved everything else they rolled out of their kitchens: the pane dolce that's essentially a mini loaf–shaped love child of a croissant and a danish; the miche whose dough ferments for a famous 68 hours (the ultimate homage to French bread-making tradition); the raisin walnut loaf that quickly became my husband's favorite. I could go on!
Even Bien Cuit's cookies, a nod to pastry chef and owner Zachary Golper's American roots, are the best versions of themselves. The Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookie is especially noteworthy. It is essentially a chocolate shortbread that uses earthy buckwheat to complement its sandy texture. It's a hearty touch that definitely makes you stop and wonder, Oh, what is this? (And just so you know, our entire edit team actually asked this. Some staffers even enjoyed the cookie dough raw. No judgment.) If that wasn't enough, the whole thing is showered with a generous dust of confectioners' sugar and a little bit of salt. Talk about a cookie with character.
“We decided to use buckwheat for this cookie because of its unique, beautiful flavor; tender and crumbly texture; and the fact that it makes gluten-free people happy," Golper explains. Turns out the Salted Chocolate Buckwheat cookie is also one of Bien Cuit's best-selling items. It's so popular that it was called upon to support a worthy cause, the Chefs for Kids' Cancer gala, alongside other top cookies in New York.
Though I'd happily make a detour to Brooklyn to have a taste of the original, I'm even more thrilled that, with the following recipe, I can make the wholesome cookie in the comforts of my own home.
- 2 cups buckwheat flour, plus more for surface
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon strong espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
- Powdered sugar (for sprinkling)
- Sea salt (preferably Maldon; for sprinkling)
Do you use buckwheat in your baking? Share your favorite recipes with us below!