My friend Kerrin Rousset has a wonderful, quirky way with food, mixing ingredients that you wouldn’t expect to be culinary classmates and always sneaking a smidgen of healthfulness into every tasty thing she makes. Here she found a way to use whole wheat and buckwheat flours, and I found a way to use kasha.
An American, Kerrin lives in Switzerland, and this recipe originally called for rye grits, which she buys in a local market where shopkeepers happily grind it to measure. When I couldn’t find rye grits (sometimes called cracked rye), I hit on the idea of using buckwheat groats, aka kasha. Be sure to use Wolff’s granulated kasha (100 percent buckwheat), which is readily available.
(Medium-grain buckwheat from Bob’s Red Mill or the bins in your natural food market can’t be used for cookies; it’s too large and hard.) Wolff’s bakes into the cookies just as nuts would (and you can substitute nuts if you’d like). You get toastiness, full-grain flavor and crunch. And hold on to the leftover kasha to use in the Double-Buckwheat Double-Chocolate Cookies or Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti.
A word on color and spreadability: Depending on your buckwheat, your cookies might be golden or mocha colored — however, they’ll always be good. And depending on how cold your dough is, your cookies might spread and be like saucers, or they might bake to be like pucks. Again, both are delicious.
Kerrin’s Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 25 cookies
½ cup (68 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (68 grams) whole wheat flour
½ cup (60 grams) buckwheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
7 tablespoons (3½ ounces; 99 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
2⁄3 cup (134 grams) packed light brown sugar
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
¼ cup (45 grams) kasha, preferably Wolff’s medium granulation (see headnote), or toasted nuts, finely chopped
6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Maldon or other flake sea salt, for sprinkling
1) Whisk together the three flours, the baking powder and baking soda. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, both sugars and the salt on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times. Add the egg and beat for about 1 minute, then add the yolk and beat for 1 minute more. Turn the mixer off, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse the mixer a few times to start blending them in. Working on low speed, mix only until most but not all of the dry ingredients are incorporated — you should still see streaks of flour. Add the kasha, and pulse a couple of times. Add the chocolate, pulse and then, if necessary, mix on low just until everything is blended. Or do this last bit of mixing by hand, with a sturdy flexible spatula. Scrape the dough out of the bowl, form it into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. (You can refrigerate the dough longer; your cookies will not spread as much.)
2) Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
3) Remove the dough from the fridge. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough, or use a tablespoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Place the mounds of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each mound with flake salt, making sure, as Kerrin advises, not to concentrate it only on the very center of the cookie.
4) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midway mark, or just until the edges of the cookies start to brown. The cookies will be underbaked, and that’s the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the cookies rest for about 2 minutes, then, working very carefully with a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool until they are just warm (delicious) or they reach room temperature. The cookies will firm as they cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, making certain that you always use a cool baking sheet.
The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. If you’d like, you can freeze scooped-out balls of dough. Let them stand at room temperature while you preheat the oven; frozen dough may not spread as much. The baked cookies can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.
Recipe Reprinted with permission from “Dorie’s Cookies” (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Dorie Greenspan.