Buckwheat & Oat Flour Cutout Cookies

November 29, 2019
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes about 3 dozen 2 inch cookies (amount will vary by the size of the cookie cutter used)
Author Notes

For the better three quarters of the year, I admittedly ignore cookies, but as soon as the holiday season sneaks up on me, my obsession with them skyrockets. I want cookies. Cookies to tide me over from November to January.

I will, without hesitation, skip the Christmas cake in favor of a cookie that promises crunch and delight and intrigue. Linzer cookies sealed with apricot or raspberry jam, chocolate-hazelnut cookies in every combination possible, a spicy gingersnap, even the savory cheddar and sea salt-loaded crackers. I welcome all with open arms. The holiday season should be all cookies, all the time.

There are some ingredients whose fragrances and tastes are a necessity in my holiday cookies—the energizing scents of the winter citruses, the cooling aroma of crushed green cardamom or peppermint, the warmth of grated cinnamon and nutmeg.

When it comes to shape, a holiday-themed cutout-cookie—that say, simply dipped in melted chocolate or a sweet glaze—is most certainly welcome. Cutout cookies melt away all expected norms of adult behavior with their playful character. As a cook, there’s something satisfying in achieving that perfect shape when the blades of the cookie cutter press through the flat layer of rolled-out dough.

Over the years, I’ve collected a wide assortment of cookie cutters in various shapes and sizes, some from childhood, the rest as an adult. Less-complicated shapes always win the day while some of the more obscure, hard-to-decipher cutters end up at the back of the drawer. My grandmother had four cookie shapes at home: a Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, a candy cane, and a wreath. We used them all, carefully painting each cutout cookie with bright-colored frostings and sprinkling with silver sugar pearls. As an adult, my preferences on cookie décor might have changed, but cutout cookies still remain as playful, adventurous, and enticing.

In my take on the classic sugar cookies, buckwheat and oat flours bolster the dough, while sugar and butter give necessary structure as the cookies bake and cool. You can add any spices and flavorings that pair well with white and dark chocolate—my personal favorites include cinnamon, black or long pepper, candied citrus peels, or crystallized ginger.

Once the cookies are baked, I hang my cookie cutters on our Christmas tree. It seems like a fitting spot to celebrate them for the next couple of weeks. —Nik Sharma

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Food52's Holiday Cookie Chronicles —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cookies
  • 5 ounces (141 grams, or 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) buckwheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 5 ounces (141 grams, or 1 1/2 cups) oat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces (113g, or 1/2 cup) light brown sugar
  • 9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces, or 1 stick plus one tablespoon, or 127g) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons plain full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate drizzle
  • 1/2 cup (90g) white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (90g) dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard 75% dark cacao)
  1. Cookies
  2. Place the buckwheat and oat flours, along with the salt and sugar, in the bowl of a stand mixer. Dry whisk to evenly mix using the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  3. While the mixer is set at medium-low speed add half of the butter and mix for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed to medium-high and add the rest of the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix for about 2 minutes until completely combined. Transfer the dough to a clean sheet of parchment paper and shape it into a disc using clean hands. Wrap the disc with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before baking.
  4. Before rolling out the dough to prepare the cookies, line two cookie/baking sheets with parchment paper and keep aside. Divide the cookie dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one part time and keep the rest refrigerated until ready to use. Using a rolling pin, roll out the cookie dough between on a clean surface lightly dusting the dough with a scant amount of buckwheat flour. You can also roll out the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper and use a little amount of buckwheat flour to dust (I've done it both ways and I prefer the parchment paper method, handling the cookies is much easier). The rolled out dough should be about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick. Cut out cookie shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer the cutouts onto the prepare baking sheet leaving about 1 inch (2.5cm) space between them and freeze to chill for 30 minutes.
  5. While the cookies are chilling, place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300°F (180°C). Return the leftover cookie dough to the rest of the dough and prepare the rest of the cookies in the same manner. Bake the chilled cutout cookies in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking. The cookies are done when their edges start to turn lightly golden brown. Remove the baking sheet with the baked cookies from the oven and allow to cool for about 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  1. Chocolate drizzle
  2. Spread the cooled cookies out on a large sheet of parchment paper (It is preferable to work in a cool place away from a heat source which will allow the chocolate to solidify after it is drizzled onto the cookies.)
  3. Place 3/4 of the white chocolate chips into a small heat-proof mixing bowl. Place the bowl in a saucepan containing water that is barely simmering on a stove. Stir the chips until they melt and the temperature reaches 110°F (43°C). Immediately switch the stove off and remove the bowl from the saucepan. Stir in the rest of the white chocolate chips and mix until combined. Using a fork drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and allow the chocolate to solidify before drizzling with the dark chocolate.
  4. Repeat the same steps to prepare the dark chocolate. Drizzle the dark chocolate over the cookies and allow to solidify at room temperature. Transfer and store the cookies in airtight container.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Erica
  • Anusha Jain
    Anusha Jain
  • Amy Fluet
    Amy Fluet
  • Cara
Nik Sharma is a molecular biologist turned cookbook author and food photographer who writes a monthly column for Serious Eats and the San Francisco Chronicle and is a contributor to the New York Times. His first cookbook, Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. Nik resides in Los Angeles, California and writes the award-winning blog, A Brown Table. Nik's new book, The Flavor Equation will be released in October 2020.

6 Reviews

Erica December 6, 2021
There's something missing in these cookies. The fall apart. There's nothing holding them together. The cream cheese and butter don't do it. I had to throw the whole thing out because it never moved beyond a crumbly mess, even after I smooshed some together and baked.
Anusha J. December 7, 2020
I came to the reviews to see if anyone had good ideas for a substitute for the cream cheese. It's something I never buy unless I am in a bagel shop! And certainly not something I keep at home. But looking at the reviews, I'll probably try some yogurt or buttermilk. And add a little extra. Maybe an egg? Looks like the dough doesn't come together as this recipe is written and needs some tweaks. I'll also try the food processor method over the stand mixer to let the dough hydrate.
Amy F. December 17, 2019
Hi Cara. I had a similar problem. I checked Nik's website, and the recipe was the same on that site. I added another teaspoon of cream cheese, and that didn't do it, so I drizzled in two-thirds to three-quarters of an egg (beaten well first), and the dough came together nicely. (I also included about 3/4 tsp. cardamom and some ground pepper.) I rolled it out between parchment and then chilled it. The dough was easy to work with and held its shape nicely when baked. The cookies are a bit fragile but very tasty.
Cara December 19, 2019
In the end I sort of mashed the dough together, having sprinkled a little water on it (but clearly not enough!), and then I kind of mashed the dough into free-form cookie shapes. I had added some cardamom and cinnamon, and they are very tasty! So maybe I'll try again one of these days! Thanks for the advice!
Cara December 13, 2019
Dough was a complete flop - just basically a bowl of tasty crumbs. Don't know if there's a mistake in the recipe? (maybe not 2 teaspoons of cream cheese? More might have helped the dough hold together). Not possible to turn into rolled dough.
Mariss December 17, 2019
This is a dough that needs some time for the flour to hydrate. I added a tablespoon of dark rum and let the dough crumbs sit for about ten minutes, then resumed mixing until a dough formed. You could likely also make the dough in a food processor and it would hydrate more quickly.