Today we’re doing a few things differently with our cookies: We’re using buckwheat flour (!) and we’re fighting cancer (!!!). Since buckwheat flour is more or less self-explanatory, we’ll move straight into the “fighting cancer” part: We’re baking Double Buckwheat Double Chocolate cookies in support of the nonprofit organization Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.
Fighting Childhood Cancer
Two OXO employees founded Cookies for Kids’ Cancer when their 2-year-old son was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2007. Larry and Gretchen Witt pledged to support the funding of research for safer, more effective treatments for children battling cancer. With the help of 250 volunteers, Gretchen baked and sold 96,000 cookies, raising more than $400,000 for research.
Each year, OXO continues to support the organization by donating $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. This year during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, OXO is also working with bloggers to showcase cookie recipes and will donate $100 per blog post in support of the cause. OXO is highlighting cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Dorie’s Cookies, which features over 200 recipes from classics to brownies to savory cookies.
These Double Buckwheat Double Chocolate cookies are a delightful departure from your usual cookie. You may have to scout around to find the buckwheat ingredients you’ll need (we found buckwheat flour and whole kasha at Whole Foods), but once you do, you’ll be glad you found them (and you’ll want to work with them again!).
OXO Cookie Equipment
To make these cookies, we used a few amazing new pieces of equipment from OXO that will continue to be stalwarts in our kitchen for years to come. We started with OXO’s super-cool Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer: With a light to guide you, the mixer includes intuitive digital controls to steadily increase or decrease speed. (Plus, when you’re finished, the on-board beater clip, wrap-and-secure cord, and flat, stable base allow for compact, upright storage.)
Then we laid out the cookies on OXO’s Non-Stick Pro Cookie Sheet, which features a unique micro-textured pattern that ensures even baking and adds structural rigidity. Bonus: An oversized edge makes it easy to grip and carry to and from the oven. Finally, we sprinkled the dough with the Baker’s Dusting Wand. This tool that comes in handy for sprinkling everything from sugar to cinnamon to flour.
Next we baked the dough, and then cut it into diamond shapes using the Double Pastry Wheel, which makes it easy to cut clean, straight lines. We love this diamond shape – it’s simple to create, looks cool. It’s also forgiving if your lines are a little bit off.
See? Easy peasy! Want to try it for yourself? Here’s the recipe – straight out of the Dorie’s Cookies cookbook. Note that she gives you two options – for cutting free-form cookies, or for rolling the dough into logs, freezing it, and making slice-and-bake cookies.
Double Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies
- 1 2/3 cups 227 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 120 grams buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup 21 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 sticks 8 ounces; 226 grams unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup 100 grams sugar
- 1/4 cup 50 grams packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup 45 grams kasha, preferably Wolff’s medium granulation
- 4 ounces 113 grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tsp sanding sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon flake sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling
Whisk both flours and the cocoa powder together. (If the cocoa is lumpy, sift the dry ingredients, then whisk to blend.)
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and the salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Drop in the yolks and beat for another minute, scraping the bowl as needed, then add the vanilla.
Turn the mixer off, add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until they are almost incorporated. This takes a minute more than you might think it should; at first the dough looks crumbly and then it starts to darken, moisten and come together. Mix in the kasha and chopped chocolate. Use a large flexible spatula to give the dough another few turns and mix in any loose ingredients. Turn the dough out and divide in half.
To make free-form cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape each piece of dough into a disk. One at a time, place between pieces of parchment paper and roll out to a thickness of 1⁄4 inch. It’s the thickness, not the shape, that matters. (I usually go for a rough oval or round.) Peel away both pieces of paper from one piece of dough, then return the dough to one piece of paper and slide it onto a baking sheet (if you don’t loosen the bottom paper, the dough will curl during baking). Repeat with the second piece of dough. Sprinkle the dough with the sugar-salt mixture. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back at the midway mark, or until the cookies are set — the edges will be more set than the center, which might still have a bit of give when gently prodded. Slide each cookie slab, still on the parchment, onto the counter. Using a pizza wheel or a knife, cut the big cookie into as many cookies of whatever shape you like. I cut it into strips about 1 inch wide and then cut these diagonally so that I end up with diamond-shaped cookies. Slide the cookies, still on the paper, onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
To make slice-and-bake cookies: Roll each piece of dough into a log that’s 12 inches long. Wrap well and freeze for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice each log 1⁄3 inch thick and place the cookies about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Sprinkle with the sugar-salt mixture. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back at the midway mark, until the cookies are firm around the edges and give slightly when pressed in the center. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.
Storing: If you’d like, you can freeze the dough, either rolled out or shaped into logs, for up to 2 months; be certain to wrap it well. The logs can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The cookies can be baked (or sliced and baked) straight from the freezer; add a minute or two to the baking time. The cookies will keep covered at room temperature for about 4 days; they can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.
A few notes on the ingredients and the baking process: We were not immediately able to find medium granulation kasha, so we just bought kasha from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Then we pulsed it around a few times in our food processor. Also, we didn’t have dusting sugar on hand so we just used regular granulated sugar.
Finally, note that this dough may seem dry and stiff, but don’t despair if it looks too crumbly. Once you roll it out, it stays together. In the end, the final baked product is a lovely not-too-sweet shortbread-style cookie.
And now for the reviews: The kids tried these in the afternoon, and then the next morning they asked for them for breakfast (!!!). (Somehow with the buckwheat it seemed OK.) Fast-forward throughout the day, small hands were sneaking into the cookie jar…and soon they were completely gone. Not bad for what was essentially our first introduction to buckwheat and whole-grain kasha. A five-star cookie!
Blogger disclosure: OXO sent me equipment to use in producing this recipe, and will donate $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on behalf of this post. I did not receive compensation for this post.