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Today I’d like to tell you about a change that took place in my kitchen recently, and one that could also happen in yours.
It involves a simple ingredient: buckwheat flour.
What started with the removal of refined sugars and flours from my diet as a New Year’s resolution led to the reading of labels and analyzing of ingredient lists, avoiding things I couldn’t pronounce or recognize in favor of more whole foods like blueberries, eggs, butter, milk, and grass-fed meat.
I watched “Food, Inc.” And I read “The Maker’s Diet.”
I gave up white bread and chose sprouted grains instead, incorporating them into muffins and breads. I started drinking kombucha. And along the way, I also started taking cod liver oil and a daily probiotic supplement.
These changes all felt pretty natural, like I was just taking care of my body in new ways. And while I have been eating very well and working out only two or three times a week, I’ve lost twelve pounds, without even meaning to. It’s crazy.
And really, the only change that ever felt difficult at all was probably the earliest one: removing white all-purpose flour and white sugar from my baking.
You know how I like to bake. But instead of using white granulated sugar, I’ve now used raw sugar, turbinado sugar, Sucanat, honey, maple syrup and, after my recent trips to the southern United States, sorghum syrup. Instead of white flour, I’ve worked with whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, spelt flour and now, most recently, buckwheat flour.
I’ve been learning how to use these whole grains, trying them in cakes and cookies, giving the results to people to see what they think.
Wheat has an easily distinguishable taste; most people have tried baking with it, and know what I mean. Regular spelt flour is pretty hearty and again distinguishable; white spelt behaves much like all-purpose white and so it makes an easy substitute.
Buckwheat, on the other hand, is a thing all its own.
Although it behaves like a grain or a cereal, it’s actually related to rhubarb, and it is gluten free. It’s also highly adept at turning your dough or batter slightly gray… But it’s also high in insoluble fiber, loaded with antioxidants, and associated with all kinds of health benefits.
Diets that include buckwheat are linked with a potentially decreased risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, better control of blood sugar and a decreased risk of diabetes, protection for women against gallstones, protection against heart disease, even protection against breast cancer.
If all those reasons aren’t enough to talk you into trying buckwheat, I don’t know what could. Well, except maybe cookies.
Incorporating this flour into traditional baked goods, like a gooey chocolate chip cookie or a spiced ginger cookie, is one way to make the transition to healthy eating that much easier and more delicious.
The brainchild of Dawna (hey, rhymes with Shanna!) at Always in the Kitchen, these gluten-free ginger cookies incorporate enough spices – namely cinnamon, ginger, and cloves – to create a good kick of flavor that really minimizes the taste of the buckwheat.
Of course, I’m growing to really enjoy that flavor now that I have gradually incorporated into my diet over time. But if you’re unsure about it, and if you like a good spicy cookie, you’ll love these.
They’re soft, fragrant, and comforting, easy to eat seven at a time… You know, not that anyone around here did. Ahem.Print
Buckwheat Ginger Cookies
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 3 dozen cookies 1x
Cinnamon, fresh ginger, and ground cloves come together in this aromatic gluten-free cookie. Rich molasses makes for a yummy, chewy treat.
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup Sucanat unrefined cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 cups buckwheat flour, plus more for shaping
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons raw sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease two baking sheets with butter, or line with silicone mats.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together with spoon or mixer until sugar is fully incorporated.
- Add egg and stir to combine. Add molasses and beat until smooth. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until thoroughly combined.
- Add molasses mixture to dry ingredients.
- Stir slowly as the dough stiffens up into a thick paste, being sure to incorporate all of the flour. Do not overmix.
- Using a spoon or cookie scoop, portion out 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a rough ball, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Repeat to yield about 36 balls of dough. Sprinkle a pinch of raw sugar on top of each ball.
- Arrange balls on the prepared baking sheets with at least 1 inch of space between each.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly underdone. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.
- Remove from the oven and set aside for five minutes. Use a spatula to gently transfer cookies from baking sheets to desired serving platter, or place on cooling racks to cool completely.
Adapted from Always in the Kitchen.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Cooking
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Gluten-Free
Keywords: buckwheat cookies, ginger, molasses
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with Silpat mats.
Step 2 – Mix Wet Ingredients
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together with a wooden spoon, your hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Crack the egg into a small bowl, to avoid adding any shell fragments to the bowl of batter. Add the egg and stir to combine. Add the molasses and beat until smooth. Set aside.
Step 3 – Mix Dry Ingredients
Add the buckwheat flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, and spices to a separate bowl.
Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
Step 4 – Add Wet Ingredients to Dry Ingredients
Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients.
Stir slowly, being sure to incorporate all of the flour, but do not overmix. The dough will stiffen up to form a thick paste.
Be patient with this process, as it will take several minutes to blend the dry and wet ingredients thoroughly. The texture will remain a bit lumpy.
Step 5 – Shape Dough and Sprinkle with Sugar
The dough is going to be sticky, so flour your hands before you begin to shape it.
Using a spoon or cookie scoop, portion out 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a rough ball, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Repeat to yield about 36 balls of dough.
Arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, with at least one inch of space between each. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar on each cookie.
The dough will start to spread slowly once it is placed on the baking trays, and it will spread a bit more during baking. It’s important to leave enough space in between, so your cookies won’t stick together.
Step 6 – Bake
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly underdone. Gently press the top of a cookie with the back of a spoon to test for softness. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.
Using a spatula, gently transfer the cookies from sheets to your desired serving platter, or place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
Once cooled, the cookies should have a delicate and soft texture. Store them in an airtight plastic container at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate.
A Beautiful Blend of Spices
The cinnamon, cloves, and ginger blend in aromatic harmony, creating a warming and redolent dessert. Sugars in their purest form enhance and deepen the spices, too.
It’s the perfect cookie to curl up with, alongside a tall glass of milk.
Don’t forget to share your baking experience with us below in the comments! Did your house fill with the delicious aroma of warming spices when you baked these?
Ready to experiment with some other sweet recipes using buckwheat flour? Check these out next on Foodal:
- Buckwheat Banana Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies
- Buckwheat Crepes with Honeyed Ricotta and Sauteed Apples
- Buckwheat Buttermilk Waffles with Blueberries and Bananas
Photos by Katherine D’Costa, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 22, 2010. Last updated on December 13, 2019. With additional writing and editing by Katherine and Eddie D’Costa, and 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.
29 thoughts on “Buckwheat Ginger Cookies”
I can’t wait to hear this big announcement.
I have never, ever tried buckwheat. The pancakes always scared me as a kid, I think it was a texture thing. I think I’m going to have to hunt down some buckwheat flour and try these out, now that I’m older and wiser. 😉
Mmm. I like that ingredient list.
Well done on the dietary changes! Isn’t it amazing how your body appreciates the changes? When I was diagnosed with celiac 8 years ago, I lost 40lbs without really trying. Marvelous. I have found that when incorporating other grains, so long as I use recipes that measure flour in weight, not cups, adapting recipes comes together much more quickly…that and adding 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum for each cup of gluten free flours to help bind things together.
I love buckwheat! The cookies look awesome! Sounds like this is all good change (albeit “terrifying”). I am looking forward to your announcement! Did I say that my doctor drinks Kombucha tea religiously? Oh Whole Foods!
Oh Shanna, you are an inspiration. When we move (in less than 6 weeks!!), I’m thinking of starting over…slightly. I think that a new kitchen (and a giant fridge) will be a good, fresh start to more healthy eating (though we are pretty healthy anyway). That was a lot of parentheticals for such a short comment, but the moral of the story is those cookies look great!!!
I love buckwheat. Just started making buckwheat pasta this year. My favorite so far was making it with a sweet potato lasagna. I am still making baked goods with white flour and white sugar, but I rarely eat them. Finding alternatives that really work is something I’m interested in. I used to use a lot of agave but then read that this is not the super alternative i thought it was. Look forward to your big announcement.
Ooh, I’m so curious to hear about…whatever it is! 🙂
I’m so glad you’ve felt like you’ve reached the culmination of all these changes. It can be an act of faith to continue on paths that aren’t the “easy way out,” even when you know they’re the right thing to do. But at the end — if you’ve stuck to your guns — there’s nothing like feeling the results of those thoughtful changes in such big ways! And accomplishment should be celebrated with buckwheat cookies, for sure.
What is arrowroot powder?
i’m slowly but very surely stepping away from sugar as well, seeking other sweetening alternatives to add to my baking. it’s scary. (ok that last sentence is kinda ridiculous.)
but in all honesty, i am freaked out with having to use new ingredients that i *know* are good to me and good for me.
Buckwheat…it’s been calling to me lately. As you know, I’m obsessed with Good to the Grain and there’s a recipe for Strawberry Buckwheat Scones that are on my soon-to-make list. I’ll have to add these, too. They look perfect!
Thanks for sharing these cookies with us!
Alicia, arrowroot powder is sometimes used as a thickener. You can find it in the spices section and it’s easily digestible. Kind of pricey, but helpful.
Lan, No, I totally get that sense of fear. It’s weird and a little daunting. But small steps, you know? Try something, then try something else, and so on. Then, next thing you know, it’s six months later and you’re like, whoa, what happened to me? For real.
Megan, Ha! I have yet to use that cookbook, which makes me very sad. So many of the recipes require all-purpose flour along with the specialty one, and I’ve been nervous to experiment with what seem to be very-well-planned combinations. Will I ruin the texture? the flavor? You know? But sometime soon. I will.
congrats lady!! thats amazing. i want to make changes like that, i’ve been so busy and running around lately that i am eating out a lot and late at night…not healthy. i have to figure out how to maintain balance. balance is so important. kudos on the flour swaps! let me know how pasta goes.
Hot dang, woman! How cool to see the shift in your cooking and baking! I must admit, I probably will never give up white flour and white sugar, but I definitely have at least a dozen other flours around my kitchen at all times. They’re so fun to play with.
That’s so funny, I rave over buckwheat honey, but must say that I’ve never used buckwheat flour or eaten buckwheat (to my knowledge). I’m going to have to see if the farmer’s market carries it…
I love incorporating whole grains into baked goods – although I still have a terrible habit of adding chocolate chips to just about every cake, cookie, bread I make with whole grain flour! I have used almond flour and spelt flour in lieu of white, refined flour – and soon, buckwheat flour thanks to this recipe 🙂 The cookies look great and congrats on the healthy changes and your success.
jordan, I know how that goes. being busy makes eating healthy so much harder. when I try pasta, I’ll definitely post about it. : )
Caitlin, I am learning to play with them for sure. Hey, have you ever tried kamut? I can’t find it anywhere!
Dana, And I’ve never had buckwheat honey! I don’t know if I’ve ever even seen it! Maybe I’ll try that, and you’ll try the flour. What do you say?
Lisa, Ha! Well if it’s dark chocolate, it’s not so bad, right? Let me know what you think of these cookies/buckwheat flour!
So thrilled to hear about all the things you’ve been doing! It’s good to know we can enjoy the pleasures of cookies but using ingredients that are good for us!
Thanks so much, Janet! I appreciate the comment and the desire to be healthy. To be honest, I enjoy cooking more now that I eat this way!
Hi Shanna – how cool is that? Your adaptation looks delicious – I’ll have to try it myself! Thanks for the citation and the link!
Always In The Kitchen
Thanks, Dawna! Great recipe!
Just found your site and am beginning to turn to whole foods too..slowly..and so I’m really enjoying your site. I’ll have to look into some of your substitutes and incorporate them. I just now have started to use chickpea flour in my baking with some really wonderful results. You might like it too!
So glad to hear that, Josephine! Thank you!
How about using butter instead of coconut oil?
That should work fine! Let us know how it goes!
Can I substitute the arrowroot powder and molasses? I don’t have these ingredients and really wish to make these cookies! ????Thank you
Tapioca flour, quick-cooking tapioca, cornstarch, or even potato flakes can make for suitable substitutes in baking, but we haven’t tried it for this recipe. These are not simple 1:1 substitutes, so you may need to experiment a bit. Molasses provides a rich, deep flavor and dark color that can’t be substituted exactly. You could try packed dark brown sugar (which contains molasses, use 3/8 cup), or 1/2 cup dark corn syrup, honey, sorghum syrup, or maple syrup if you have any of those on hand.
Thank you for sharing this lovely buckwheat ginger cookie recipe. I will make it for my friend who has celiac disease. Just a question, can I use ground ginger instead of freshly grated ginger? If it is ok, how much ground ginger can I use? Cheers! Thank you!
You can use ground instead of fresh, though you may have to experiment with the quantity a bit, and the recommended substitutions vary. I’ve seen everything from 1/8 to 2 teaspoons recommended to substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh! Assuming your ground dried ginger is fresh and flavorful, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon should work to substitute 3 tsp. of fresh grated ginger.
Please let us know how the cookies turn out! I hope your friend enjoys them.