Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies That Can Be Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free or Vegan

Buckwheat, which is gluten-free, gives these cookies a dark gray-brown hue.
Buckwheat, which is gluten-free, gives these cookies a dark gray-brown hue.

Now that I’m trying to consolidate and minimize my trips to the grocery store, I have been on a quest to clean out my freezer of miscellaneous flours to create more space for other things.

You know, like tubs of ice cream. Kidding. Sort of.

So when I spied this recipe for “Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies,” I knew it would help me use up a bag of buckwheat flour languishing in the deep-freeze.

The recipe is from “Perfectly Golden: Adaptable Recipes for Sweet and Simple Treats” (The Countryman Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Angela Garbacz, the owner of Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, NE.

What makes this cookbook especially intriguing is that every recipe has suggested ingredient swaps so you can make it easily gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan, if you prefer.

There’s everything from “Chocolate Thunder Cake” and “Pumpkin Cake Donuts” to “Coconut Berry Thumbprint Cookies.”

For these “Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies,” the recipe calls for milk, but you can also use almond milk or another nondairy milk to make it dairy-free. Besides buckwheat (which is naturally gluten-free), there is some all-purpose flour, but you can opt to use gluten-free all-purpose flour instead, to make these cookies entirely gluten-free. The recipe also calls for melted coconut oil, which makes it vegan. I used melted butter, because that’s what I had handy.

Buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat flour.

I sometimes take online reviews with a grain of salt, so when I saw this cookbook had received a few critical comments on Amazon from people questioning whether the recipes had actually been tested, as their results came out poorly, I gave the book the benefit of the doubt.

However, I will admit this cookie was the second recipe I attempted from this book. The first one, a cake, did not come out. I made it twice, too, using two different baking pans, per the recipe alternatives given. The first time, done in a cake pan, it took way too long for the center to fully bake resulting in a dry, overly dark, unappetizing cake. The second time, done in muffin tins instead with a shorter baking time, resulted in mushy centers despite the outsides being fully baked and perfectly golden.

Wanting to give the book one more chance, I gave these cookies a try instead. They did come out. However, the recipe describes these cookies as being “perfectly chewy.” I didn’t find them chewy in texture at all. Instead, they bake up crisp on the edges, and tender yet crumbly within.

The buckwheat gives them a wonderful bitter, earthy edge, which is prominent since the sweetness of these cookies is quite measured.

This is not an over-the-top decadent chocolate chunk cookie. It’s more austere, letting the buckwheat be the star ingredient. It’s ideal for those wanting a gluten-free, vegan or dairy-free cookie. Or just wanting to use up some excess buckwheat flour in the freezer.

Warm from the oven with melty chocolate inside.
Warm from the oven with melty chocolate inside.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(Makes 20 to 24 cookies)

1 1/3 cups light brown sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch

2/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup milk, almond milk, or your favorite nondairy milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or 1 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate, vegan if necessary

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, coconut oil, milk and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together vigorously until the mixture looks creamy and smooth, about a minute or two. Add the baking soda and baking powder, salt, buckwheat flour, and all-purpose flour. Fold together with a rubber spatula until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and any chocolate dust left from chopping, and fold into the dough.

We use the #24 scoop for our cookies, about 2 3/4 tablespoons. You can also scoop the dough with a large soup spoon. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press down on each cookie gently with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are set and the center feels soft to the touch. Because these cookies are darker in color from the buckwheat flour, it is hard to judge their doneness based on color, so you have to rely on touch for these.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheets or transfer carefully to cooling racks. These will keep really well at room temperature, in an airtight container, for about a week.

From “Perfectly Golden” by Angela Garbacz

More Gluten-Free Sweet Treat To Try: Rosemary Pear Pie

And: Fig Jam Bars

And: The World’s Easiest Cookies

And: Raspberry-Mochi Butter Cake with Matcha Glaze

And: Apple Beehive

And: Chocolate and Olive Oil Cake

And: Brown-Butter Mochi Muffins

And: Chocolate Butter Mochi

And: Butter Mochi

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