Chocolate

Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookie

by:
May  9, 2018
41 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

From Bien Cuit bakery's pastry chef and owner Zachary Golper: “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." —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Our New Favorite Chocolate Cookies Just Happen to Be Gluten-Free —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookie
  • Makes 12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 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)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat on medium-low until no dry spots remain. Add chocolate chips and espresso and beat on low speed until just blended.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a log about 2" in diameter and 10" long. If possible, chill the dough for at least 1 hour before cutting for optimal results.
  4. After chilling, remove the dough. Cut crosswise into 12 even pieces (they will be large). Place cookies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar and a little bit of salt. Bake, rotating once halfway through, until cookies are cracked, slightly puffed, and baked through (they will still be slightly soft and firm up as they cool), 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ann Lacy
    Ann Lacy
  • BigA
    BigA
  • Amy Wilke
    Amy Wilke
  • LagunaGreg
    LagunaGreg
  • Eleanor Krynycky
    Eleanor Krynycky
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86 Reviews

Stephanie P. February 27, 2021
I’m so sad I wasted so much butter on these awful, awful cookies. I’ve truly never made such a terrible cookie, from the texture to the taste. I followed the recipe exactly so I have no idea what the problem was. I could have saved myself some trouble if I’d read all the comments first. Major fail.
 
Eleanor K. April 26, 2021
Qualit and freshness helps immensely when using buckwheat flour, but it does have a strong flavour.
 
Davis December 2, 2020
These cookies are fairly difficult to get right: which I wouldn't really know if I had not made then correctly AND incorrectly several times to see what works and what makes a weirdly big difference. My son and I joke that it requires a certain number of course words in order to manifest good results just like pie crust. Here is what I have found:

1) The dough is dry. Very dry and very crumbly. Even at high altitude, where you would be tempted to add extra moisture, I have found this to be a mistake. Keep it crumbly, wrap it up in parchment, and curse when it crumbles when you cut it. Otherwise they will spread too much, especially at the edges, and that was not what I wanted.

2) I also have too much dough with this recipe to make a 2 x 10 inch log. I used to keep it 2 inch wide and have a long tube. This was also a mistake. They cook more evenly, (but are more annoying to cut) if you make a 4 x 10 inch log and have flatter, wider cookies.

3) Cooking time should be short: just when they start to spread a teeny bit (usually 11 minutes), take them out. They aren't "done" per we, but leave them on the pan and they will become more firm in about 5 minutes. Also, turn them halfway through. This isn't really because your oven is uneven, but because you let a lot of the heat out (as far as I can tell) and the second half of cooking is lower, keeping them from spreading too much.

4) They are made out of buckwheat. You might not like them, but especially if your flour is old.

In short, when in doubt, do the most annoying thing you can put up with, (ex: crumbly dough, meticulous watching while baking, etc.) and they come out better. The people who measure their ingredients by weight are also probably right: that probably helps a lot too.
 
Stephanie October 15, 2020
I still maintain these are the best cookies ever!!!!
 
Ann L. October 15, 2020
I was hesitant to make these after reading mixed reviews but my BF and I really enjoyed them! I made these exactly as written, aside from the powdered sugar. I made the dough at night, chilled overnight in the fridge, and baked the following afternoon. The dough seemed way too dry but it all came together in the end. Would definitely make again!
 
Andrea August 5, 2020
Made these with a few revisions:
1) I halved the recipe but still shaped them into 12 cookies. I still baked for 10-12 min.
2) Added a little extra brown sugar plus an egg
3) Softened butter in the microwave so it was a little more liquidy
4) Poured the flour into my measuring cups instead of scooping it

Taste was delicious and the egg held the dough together so it wasn't too crumbly. Texture had a tiny bit of grainyness to it but not something I'd consider to be a negative at all. This was my first time baking with buckwheat and I didn't think it tasted "buckwheaty" at all.
 
Peaches June 15, 2020
I made these and enjoyed them a great deal. I agree that using mini chips would make them easier to cut into individual cookies. The dough isn't a conventional one, and not the easiest to work with. Baked they have more like a sandy shortbread texture, which isn't bad just unusual. So eat over a plate, or better yet outside!
 
Emily R. April 24, 2020
These chonky cookies were delicious! Things I think contributed to success making these:

- I used a bag of buckwheat flour that I purchased on a trip to France (David Lebovitz talks a bit in this post about American buckwheat flour, which is usually whole grain, versus French buckwheat flour, which tends to be more refined: https://www.davidlebovitz.com/buckwheat-chocolate-chip-cookies-cookie-recipe-lappart-david-lebovitz/)

- I used these weights from Amy W's comment below instead of volume measurements for the dry ingredients:
200g brown sugar
30g cocoa
265g buckwheat flour*
13g baking powder

- I let the dough sit in the fridge overnight, so that the flour hydrated properly

If I were to make these again, I would make sure that the top got a nice, even sprinkling of salt, because I thought the saltier bites were especially delicious.
 
MarthaInTheKitchen February 22, 2020
These are delicious, and similar to Dorie Greenspan's also-delicious World Peace Cookies. The dough came together beautifully for me. I gave it a few gentle hand-kneads - the warmth from my hands was just enough to smooth out the dough and to get it to stick together.

I looked for photos of the Bien Cuit version of these cookies - they are more nugget-shaped than the ones in the photo for this recipe. To get more of that effect, I stuck the shaped cookies into the freezer for a few minutes to avoid spread once they were in the oven.

These cookies would probably be equally lovely without the chocolate chips. That would make them easier to cut from the log. Or, consider using mini chocolate chips.

I wanted smaller cookies, and shaped them into pieces that were about 1-inch round x .5-inch high. My testers had a burned edge, so I reduced the temperature and baking time slightly.

Buckwheat does have a noticeable flavor. If that is not your thing, this recipe is probably not for you. Dorie has you covered with the abovementioned World Peace Cookies - hop on over to that recipe, where buckwheat-free bliss awaits.
 
Susan B. June 25, 2019
I was suspect of a couple things, mostly the size of these cookies! A 1/2 pound of butter in 12 cookies is outrageous. There are some good bones here, but the butter needs to be cut and the dough needs a binder. If I make them again I will add 2 eggs and cut the butter in half. That should create a texture perfect for drop cookies - no rolling or waiting necessary!
 
Donna May 26, 2019
I reviewed this recipe as a definite thumbs down. I read through many of the reviews stating “disappointing results, awful, looks nothing like the photo, grainy texture, bitter, waste, etc”. Based on the reviews how does this recipe wind up with 4 stars??
 
Donna May 26, 2019
Is there anything worse than high expectations dashed?! I made 2 batches of dough as I planned to serve at a Memorial Day Bbq. I would be embarrassed to take these because my friends might feel they should eat them to be courteous. Could it be that an ingredient was left out of the recipe....one could only hope.
 
Stephanie March 3, 2019
I made these cookies to the recipe and thought they were the best ever!!!!! My husband's and mine very favorite cookie
 
Cindy H. June 1, 2019
I agree!!!!!
 
Stephanie June 5, 2019
I know! Maybe people are not used to using buckwheat flour. Anyhow so glad you agree :)
 
Liz D. March 3, 2019
Immediately I thought the 1 Tablespoon of baking powder seemed suspect.
I wonder if some of the problems people are having with bitterness is the amount of baking powder. 1 Tablespoon is a crazy amount. I used 1/2 teaspoon (!) and added an egg and these were yummy




 
Susan B. June 25, 2019
The large amount of baking powder was meant to help them "crack."The bitterness may be that the buckwheat was old (it is best to refrigerate it) or because the chocolate was particularly bitter.
 
Liz January 4, 2019
I had great pause after reading the reviews but the buckwheat flour was purchased so, what the heck. I don't like cookies but love shortbread. My husband loves cookies but is dealing with some refined flour intolerance. This recipe is flipping am! My only changes were wrapping in wax paper and refrigerated overnight, making 18 cookies and sprinkled apricot salt from Austria. They weren't bitter. They were soft and chewy. Thanks!
 
Birch December 15, 2018
I love buckwheat, but these were inedible. Kinda like munching on plastic-y volcanic ash (and no, I didn't burn them) studded with chocolate chips.

Really vague recipe in places (lightly packed brown sugar - who on Earth measures brown sugar like that?!), has you turn the oven on even though you chill them first, etc.

Think the guy doesn't want people nailing his recipe so he withheld a few things. The dough is also super dry and hard to work with (and I'm a very good baker, I think croissants are easy).
 
Jordan B. December 8, 2018
wait so does each cookie have like a quarter stick of butter in it?.
 
Delia December 29, 2018
Mathwise, each cookie contains 1 TBS + 1 tsp of butter.
 
Shari November 25, 2018
I made these cookies exactly as directed using bitter sweet chocolate chips. I had no problem with the dough or with baking the cookies. I took them out of the oven just after they began to crack. We are used to buckwheat baking as we make an apple cake with buckwheat. Although not bitter, as another reviewer said, you have to like buckwheat. The cookies are beautiful after cooling, especially with a second dusting of sugar. As we have a family member with celiac, we are always looking for gluten free recipes. Thanks.
 
BigA July 27, 2018
Sorry, I hate to write this, but these are just terrible. This is the only thing I've ever made from Food52 that was not good. I had reservations when I saw a gluten free cookie with only one type of flour... and the most bitter flour of any I've used, but it was a featured recipe so I threw caution to the wind and tried it. Unfortunately, they were crumbly and bitter (surprise). My guests wouldn't even eat them. I had to throw them all away, it was very embarassing. I was really hoping for an "a ha" moment.... but alas, no.
 
Amy W. June 21, 2018
The first time I made this with volume measurements, I had a crumbly dough that still came together after some kneading. This dough, I had mixed by hand. These baked up as I believe they should have (minimal spreading, cracked tops).

My second attempt, I also measured by volume but took extra care to spoon the ingredients into the measuring cups to weigh each and used my stand mixer. The butter, I believe was slightly softer this time around and the butter creamed with the sugar was much lighter. The resulting dough was stiff but much more workable than the first. I baked off a couple

For anyone interested, here are the weights I came up with.

200g brown sugar
30g cocoa
265g buckwheat flour*
13g baking powder

*prior to using the flour in the dough, I played around with how the flour gets weighed out, if you "fluff and scoop" the flour, 1 cup weighs significantly more than if you "lightly spoon" the flour into the cup.

Buckwheat flour was a very fine, stone ground from a windmill in Illinois that I had picked up as a souvenir on a trip.
All other ingredients were generic store brand.
 
Amy W. June 21, 2018
Forgot to finish a sentence in there

I baked off a couple prior to chilling to see what the result would be and they spread only slightly more than when I had chilled the dough.
 
LagunaGreg June 18, 2018
Any chance of getting a weight measure for the flour? I had some buckwheat groats lying around so made flour in my blender - which results in a super airy flour. My cookies spread into lacy discs so I'm guessing my 2 c wasn't the same amount. Thanks! The flavor is great and I love the use of buckwheat.
 
Ken K. June 19, 2018
The bag of buckwheat flour I used (Arrowhead Mills) says the "Serving Size" is 1/4 cup = 30 gm. So that would mean 2 cups = 240 gm = 8.46 oz. But FYI, I measured the Arrowhead product by grams and ended up with an unworkable mess - too dry and crumbly to form into decent logs, which broke into bits after they were chilled. But maybe someone else can let us know the proper weight.