Make Ahead

Japanese Soba-boro (Buckwheat Cookies)

June  8, 2017
8 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 60 (small) cookies
Author Notes

Derived from the Japanese soba (buckwheat) and the Portuguese bolo (cookie), Japanese people now use boro a word to describe many kinds of round and rustic cookies. I can’t think of any American baked goods with the texture of these cookies. They have the lightness of meringue, but with a toasty and substantial crunch.

Soba-boro are traditionally shaped like little flowers, but I figured that a little adaptation wouldn’t hurt the taste. The resulting cookies were exceedingly plain looking and brown, but that didn’t stop my brother and me from fighting over the last batch. —Chihiro

What You'll Need
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 100 grams light brown sugar (light demarera, muscovado, etc.)
  • 100 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Melt butter over low heat and set aside to cool. Whisk egg and sugar together until lightly foamy. Add buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, and baking soda. Use a wooden spoon (or your hands), to incorporate the flour. Drizzle in the butter and knead lightly until the dough coheres. It should feel slightly tacky.
  2. Wrap dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove dough and divide into two. Return one half to the refrigerator.
  4. Lightly dust a Silpat (or sheet of parchment paper) with buckwheat flour and roll half of the dough into to a thickness of about 1-2 millimeters. Cut out shapes and bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies will be slightly browned around the edges and will feel puffy to the touch. They will crisp up as they cool. Repeat.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kate K
    Kate K
  • eluu
  • Änneken
  • Chihiro

20 Reviews

Inch12 January 29, 2022
It is yummy! Make sure to roll out the dough thin. Crispier the better.
devan October 30, 2021
These cookies are really good and easy to make. They have the consistency of crispy crackers and are really good with jam; I recommend raspberry, apricot & orange marmalade. Thank you for this recipe!
Mrs.M. February 11, 2021
These were a great hit with my daughter and me.

Had to use the cup measurement conversion; less cookies then I was expecting.

The recipe implied the baker would have plenty of cookie-dough to have on hand for later use however the dough only gave me 12 cookies total before being done with the supply; Used 10x15 inch baking sheet.

These tasted really good though! I love the crispness and the flavor the buckwheat provides. Will make these again.
Junko September 26, 2020
So excited to find this recipe! I also grew up eating soba boro and loving them! I’m going to make these today! Thank you!
linderseed May 19, 2020
I love buckwheat flour, so had to make these. I cut out simple circles and made them thin and they came out very crispy.

They're very nice on their own (and would be even better with fun cookie cutters), but I also took a few and sandwiched peanut butter in between and coated them with semi sweet chocolate and topped with flaky salt. Like a Reece's, but crunchier.

Will definitely make these again and possibly add a little cinnamon.
Chihiro May 20, 2020
Peanut butter and chocolate! Love it.
Kate K. May 15, 2020
These are wonderful! Crisp, delicate, thrifty, and the dough holds shapes beautifully. I used light buckwheat, but I'm going to try dark next time. Thank you for sharing these, Chihiro! I favorited this recipe when you posted it years ago. Now I wish I had made them sooner.
Chihiro May 15, 2020
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for reporting back :)
CT December 30, 2019
What type of buckwheat flour should be used? Light or dark?
Chihiro February 7, 2020
Hi Charis, I used both the lighter Japaense buckwheat and the darker American ones to test. Both work.
eluu December 15, 2019
Ate a toasty one straight from the oven, and how delicate and refined this little cookie is. The first batch has cooled to a nutty, crisp, and chewy product. This is the perfect tea cookie to have around the house, for the morning, the late evening, a midnight treat...

Thank you for a simple and lovely recipe, Chihiro!
Daringfeline October 27, 2019
Great recipe. I used buckwheat flour and rice flour, with a teaspoon of xantham gun and they came out great and gluten free
Änneken June 18, 2019
I love these! I didn't get the texture you described in the headnote because by the time they were brown around the edges about 15 mins had passed. Otherwise the flavor was phenomenal.
Chihiro June 19, 2019
So glad to hear it!
Shelley T. June 4, 2019
There was such little batter that I doubled the recipe. I like LOTS of cookies ; ) I tried a traditional cookie cutter, then tried my grandmother's Springle rolling pin (rolling pin with animals and plants in squares) I rolled out with a regular smooth rolling pin, then finished off with the imprint springle rolling pin (German). Cut along the straight lines and made little square cookies. Yummy and light. I'm thinking of making a batch with gluten free Almond Flour... Thanks for sharing.
Chihiro June 4, 2019
I love that the idea of soba boro in springle rolling pin form! Please report back if you try the almond flour :)
Yianna June 27, 2018
Thank you for the recipe!! I made them today with browned butter and reduced a little of the sugar. They came out fantastic :)
fearlessem June 10, 2017
Is 1-2 millimeters correct, or do you mean 1-2 centimeters? 1-2 millimeters seems like it would be unmanageable?
Chihiro June 11, 2017
1-2 mm is correct. These cookies are very thin!
Michiko R. June 9, 2017
It's recall my memories, also.
My late grandfather, who was Meiji era ( like Soseki Natume)Japanese gentleman, took me to monthly buddizum temple visit, he alway brought Soba-Bolo for me, I think I was 3 or 4 years old.
Thank you sharing your recipe.