Alternative flour and minimally processed ingredients are a revelation in this gluten-free twist on classic chocolate chip cookies.
I feel like I have been a fool for way too long, buying bags of refined white flour for all of my baking adventures. Devoid of its natural nutrients and fiber, I’ve also missed out on the layers of rich and hearty flavor that alternative flours have to offer.
I used buckwheat flour and unrefined cane sugar as the base for these cookies. And the taste is nothing like what you’ll get from a bag of packaged snacks from the store. The dark chocolate chunks are the perfect complement to the batter, with a deep, rich flavor that isn’t cloyingly sweet.
And to think I avoided this alternative option for years because I thought it might be challenging to use…
Don’t make the same mistake. Baking prep with this type of flour is hardly any different than what’s required with your standard all-purpose wheat flour, it just requires a little more time in the mixer to blend with the wet ingredients. The effort is more than worth it!
Finally, don’t let the word “wheat” in buckwheat fool you. There is no wheat to be found – they’re actually unrelated – and this ingredient is naturally gluten-free.
Keep in mind that noodles made with buckwheat sometimes contain wheat flour (and gluten) as well, so be sure to read package labels when shopping for gluten-free ingredients, just to be sure you know what you’re getting.
The buckwheat flour in this recipe gives the cookies a soft and chewy or cakelike texture, with a moist, melt-in-your-mouth interior, and a unique flavor.
There are two types of buckwheat flour available, light and dark. I’ve found that either will work in this recipe, though the mildly refined light flour will provide a lighter texture.
Similar to the difference between whole wheat and white flour, for the light variety, the hulls are removed from the seeds before they are ground into a powdery end result.
Dark buckwheat includes the hulls, and all the hearty goodness that comes along with it. I’ve come to appreciate its nutty, rustic flavor and a texture that’s a bit more coarse.
Unlike many other alternative options, buckwheat doesn’t need to be paired or blended with other types to turn out beautiful baked goods with a satisfying texture, like you might see when baking with rice, almond, coconut, or other gluten-free flours.
I have a whole drawer full of recipes using standard and processed flours. But those are begging for a fun replacement with my favorite new ingredient. I think I’ll pack these chocolate chip cookies in a plastic container while preparing to make this vegetarian tart for dinner.
Yep, it’s definitely time to start buying buckwheat in bulk…Print
Are you craving a rich and chewy treat that’s gluten free? Hearty buckwheat flour and dark chocolate chunks are combined to create these tasty cookies.
- 1 1/2 cups light buckwheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted and allowed to cool slightly
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup Sucanat unrefined cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
- 1 3.2-ounce bar of dark chocolate, chopped (preferably over 70% cocoa) or 5/8 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
- In another large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, butter, and sugar together with a large whisk or whisk attachment at medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until sugar is fully incorporated.
- Add egg and vanilla. Whisk to combine at medium speed for about 1-2 minutes. Mixture will be lumpy.
- Add dry ingredient mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Fold chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) into dough until fully incorporated.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and freeze dough, for at least 3 hours.
- Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, portion 12 equally sized balls onto the prepared baking tray with at least 1 inch of space between each. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove from freezer, and rearrange the dough balls as needed, to maintain space in between each.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to crisp. Rotate the sheet pan halfway through baking.
- Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to gently transfer the cookies from the baking sheet to a serving platter, or place on wire cooling racks to cool completely.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: buckwheat, cookies, chocolate chip
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Measure out all of your ingredients first.
Make sure your unsalted butter is at room temperature. You can soften frozen or chilled butter in the microwave, at half power for about 15 seconds.
These cookies are light and delicate. If you prefer them to be more firm, try using dark buckwheat flour instead, or skip the butter.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
If you prefer your cookies to have a crisp bottom, you can coat the sheet pan with oil or butter instead. Use about a teaspoon, for even coverage.
Step 2 – Mix Dry Ingredients
Step 3 – Mix Wet Ingredients
In a separate large bowl, beat the coconut oil, butter, and sugar together with a whisk by hand, or use your mixer, until the sugar is fully incorporated.
You’ll need to beat the ingredients for at least 3 to 4 minutes to incorporate the sugar completely.
Add the egg and the vanilla extract. Stir to combine for about 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture will be lumpy.
Step 4 – Add Wet and Dry Ingredients Together
Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture into the wet in several additions, stirring to combine between each. This helps to prevent clumping. Mix to combine thoroughly.
Step 5 – Fold in Chocolate, Portion, and Refrigerate
Fold the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips into the dough until they are evenly distributed throughout.
Shape the dough into a neat ball in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, portion out 12 equally sized balls onto your baking tray. Cover with plastic, and place in the freezer for another hour.
If you prefer to wait, the portioned and frozen raw dough will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks. After freezing separately on the tray, transfer to a zip-top freezer bag.
Step 6 – Bake
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet with at least 1 inch of space between each. If your baking sheets are small, you may need to use two.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to crisp. Rotate the sheet pan halfway through baking.
The centers should be soft and slightly underbaked. Gently press the top of a cookie with the back of a spoon to test for doneness.
Remove the pan from the oven. After 5 minutes, use a spatula to gently transfer cookies from the baking sheets to a serving platter, or place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight plastic container.
Why Use Buckwheat Flour? Why Not!
For me, using this alternative flour means indulging in sweet treats can be a little less guilt-laden.
And the benefits range beyond just being gluten-free. It’s rich in dietary fiber, and contains protein as well as many important vitamins and minerals as well, in contrast to highly refined and processed food products.
So go ahead, have another!
Looking for other types of cookies to bake at home that are on the healthier side? Try these next:
And let us know below if you love using buckwheat flour as much as I do!
Photos by Katherine and Eddie D’Costa, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on April 13, 2011. Last updated on January 19, 2021. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.