Make new friends

It seems funny to post about a mom and a cookie, when I just posted about a mom and a cookie. But there you have it – this one just has to be shared.

There is one mom at our nursery school who always brings the best snacks. For the kids, yes, sure, but more importantly – for the parents. If you have ever been part of a co-op nursery school, you understand how critical the parent-room snacks are. Eleanor regularly provides toast – good toast – and the most amazing homemade jam. She also bakes. On Eleanor’s snack days, I always know my morning break will be completely pleasant. (I’m so glad we have the same work day!)

And then last week we were working in the snack room together, and got to talking. About canning, to begin with – I am anticipating our mini-orchard going into plum-overdrive come July, and was thinking that maybe Eleanor would help me learn how to can things, jam-like things for starters. (Did I mention that her jams are always so good?) She actually thought that was a great idea (yes!! check back in late July … ) and from there we were off, talking about baking and food and food blogs — and, wouldn’t you know, Eleanor has a food blog too! As she should. Her baking deserves every delighted superlative you can come up with, and my only critique of her blog is that she hasn’t yet posted all the recipes of hers that I want to try. But when I went snooping around on KitchenSalt (cute name, right?) I found something that had me heading to the kitchen with my laptop, pulling out my measuring cups along the way. 

You know how I’ve been trying some new buckwheat recipes lately? Well, Eleanor has too. And she started with a doozy, let me tell you. More true confessions: I don’t like chocolate chip cookies. I really don’t. I mean, I have a sweet tooth, so under duress I will eat them, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t really care for them, and I never ever make them.

But I suspect I will be making these Buckwheat Chocolate Chunkers over and over again. In fact I’ll go out on a limb and say, my kids might never know the taste of regular whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. This buckwheat version is probably all they will ever get.

But they will love them. And you will too. As Eleanor notes, they are “tender, nutty, salty, crunchy, chewy.” Sounds about perfect, right?

Right. Thanks Eleanor :)

Eleanor’s Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies
As adapted on KitchenSalt from Alice Medrich‘s Chewy, Gooey, Crunchy, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

Eleanor “dry ages” her cookie dough by putting the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 2-48 hours. I had never done this unless instructed to by a specific recipe, but I went ahead and tried it, since Eleanor always has such good baking results. These cookies are delicious, so I guess it worked. :) I cut the recipe in half, and it still made thirty cookies using a tablespoon of dough per cookie – if you need more than thirty (and there is no shame in that game – they are really good! or maybe you are stocking the parent room?) you can double this recipe, or just click over to KitchenSalt and use the quantities there. (I used just a touch less sugar, but otherwise no modifications). I also followed Eleanor’s suggestion and sprinkled each cookie with a bit of flaky salt before baking. A really nice touch on a really nice cookie.  

8 tablespoons butter, melted and kept warm
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks (Eleanor recommends chunks over chips, and I definitely second this recommendation – the varying amounts of chocolate are really nice here)

(If you are dry-aging the dough, heat your oven when you are ready to bake. Let the dough come close to room temperature again before baking).

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt.

Combine the sugars in a large bowl, then stir in the warm, melted butter. Whisk in the eggs and the vanilla extract.

At this point you can do your dry aging: refrigerate the cookie dough for 2-48 hours (cover the bowl with clingwrap, and bring back to room temperature before baking). Or you can bake them immediately.

Scoop scant tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, and top each with a sprinkling of flaky salt. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through but not hard.
Let cookies cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies will keep in air tight container for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. They taste really good frozen plucked right from the freezer bag – in fact, we had two freezer bags full two days ago, when I made these. Now we have only one. Make what you will of that!

Thanks Eleanor, for being such a kindred spirit and for helping me befriend the chocolate chip cookie. I will be watching KitchenSalt for that cookie butter recipe you promised :)


3 thoughts on “Make new friends

  1. I needed this recipe last night! I was standing in the kitchen, leafing through my Gourmet cookbook for a chocolate cookie recipe with some expectant cookie eaters standing around and, can you believe it, I couldn’t find a new inspiring chocolate cookie. Finally we gave up and all just ate a handful of chocolate chips (sad). Can’t wait to try these today–and to get to know a new blog! Thanks for both. :)

    • A day late, but definitely not a dollar short! I am hoping Eleanor gets some of her other treats up soon – she is seriously a baking goddess. I’m sorry you were in need, but you know, sometimes just plain chocolate is actually perfect :)

  2. Hannah! This a delightful post and I am tickled pink that you love my baking so much. I can’t wait for July when we tackle your plum tree and make a canner out of you! I have to get my posting mojo back now that you are anxiously waiting :-)

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