Our New Favorite Chocolate Cookies Just Happen to Be Gluten-Free

July 26, 2018
Salty, crackled goodness. Photo by Rocky Luten

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.

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“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.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Does the bakery ensure a gluten free environment when making the buckwheat cookie? Most bakeries are dangerous as hell for people who must avoid gluten for medical reasons, as a bakery is chock full of flour and flour dust! ”
— Ea

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.

We Love Cookies of All Kinds

This article was originally published earlier this spring, and we're running it again because a chocolate craving just hit.

Do you use buckwheat in your baking? Share your favorite recipes with us below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Rachel
  • Beth100
  • kimberly.godwin
  • mjochums
  • Janan Broadbent
    Janan Broadbent
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.


Rachel March 14, 2023
I’m sequestered away in a high mountain vacation condo, lucky me! No buckwheat flour. I know this is the whole point of the cookie but this looks like the best chocolate crackle cookie I could make with cocoa powder as there is no solid chocolate here. I promise that I will try with buckwheat flour when I get home. But in the meantime, will regular flour work?
Beth100 August 31, 2018
Dutched or natural cocoa?
kimberly.godwin May 21, 2018
I was soooo excited about these cookies. I measured out everything per recipe instructions. The 'dough' was not really dough, but more of a almost dry product that barely held together. I figured rolling it in some cellophane and cooling it for an hour would make this less powdery. Alas, It was still so powdery/flaky that I could not cut cookies from it from being so dry and crumbly. The flavor was amazing, it just did not have enough moisture to hold a cookie together. Did I miss some secret liquid ingredient for moisture for these cookies? I think a tad bit of water and/or an egg perhaps would help? I saw in some comments that measuring for weight would be more accurate for this. Perhaps that was the problem here. Please let me know.
mjochums May 18, 2018
Do you have measurements by weight (especially the flour)?
Janan B. May 18, 2018
Could you please give the nutritional info?
vivien S. May 18, 2018
Ingredients by weight would be much appreciated.
Grace F. May 18, 2018
Does it have a coffee flavor? Or can I leave that out if I do not like coffee?
Joanna S. May 17, 2018
we ate them raw *accidentally*!
Abe May 11, 2018
Can I use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar? Thanks
Haejin May 11, 2018

If it doesn't have to be gluten-free, could I just use APF instead? 1:1 ratio? Thanks in advance!
Hana A. May 14, 2018
Hi Haejin - from Bien Cuit:

"The buckwheat cookies require buckwheat flour. Sifted (white) or unsifted (grey with black specks) both work. You can even use Tartary buckwheat if you're far north as that might be easier to find."
Ea May 11, 2018
Does the bakery ensure a gluten free environment when making the buckwheat cookie? Most bakeries are dangerous as hell for people who must avoid gluten for medical reasons, as a bakery is chock full of flour and flour dust!
Hana A. May 11, 2018
Hi Ea - I'm on my way to find out and will report back with my findings. Thanks for reading!
Hana A. May 14, 2018
From Bien Cuit: "We do not bake our buckwheat cookies in a separate facility as our other bread and pastries, so while we try our best to keep our buckwheat cookies free of gluten, we, unfortunately, cannot guarantee that they are free from trace amounts of flour."
DKM May 11, 2018
Espresso? What kind and how much??
Hana A. May 11, 2018
Hi DKM - 1 teaspoon of your favorite strong espresso or coffee, at room temp, enjoy!