I keep to mostly original (or adapted versions of) recipes on the blog but these cookies from The Alternative Baker cookbook by Alanna Taylor-Tobin aka The Bojon Gourmet simply require no alteration. I didn't let that stop me from sharing the recipe anyway because I adore them so much (I've made them 3 times already). Sometimes you just have to bend the rules to share something this good! These scrumptious, sultry, uber chocolate-y cookies with just a touch of citrus (from orange or bergamot) have instantly become a favorite for me. The fact that it is made with buckwheat flour and hence, gluten free, makes it a further win in my book. Because so many people are gluten intolerant or sensitive, including one of my daughters, I love a treat that can be enjoyed by everyone and doesn't taste like a compromise - and I can tell you these definitely don't.
If you're interested in exploring a whole world of alternate flours for baking - from the more common oat flour, corn flour and almond flour - to the lesser known buckwheat, sweet rice, teff, chestnut, millet etc., I've found that The Alternative Baker cookbook is the perfect gateway into it, with jaw-dropping photographs for every recipe. I'm always game for trying things off the beaten path, specifically when the path leads to using something healthier than nutrient-devoid all purpose flour. You need to come down this path with me. Try these cookies, and you will see!
For dairy-intolerant diets, use dairy-free chocolate chips (I love this brand) and substitute the butter with melted coconut oil or clarified butter (ghee) if tolerated.
Recipe from The Alternative Baker cookbook, makes 30 x 2" cookies.
6 tbsp (85g) unsalted butter
12 oz (345g) bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao mass), chopped (~2 1/4C), plus chunks for the cookies tops - divided
1 1/2 tsp packed finely grated zest from 1 small orange (or bergamot)
1/2 cup (65g) buckwheat flour
2 tbsp (15g) tapioca flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 C plus 2 tbsp (130g) organic granulated cane sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Flaky salt such as Maldon, for the tops
1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350f. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over the lowest possible heat. Add 8 ounces (230g) of the chocolate and the orange zest, and melt together, stirring frequently to prevent the chocolate from scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture is pleasantly warm, but not super hot, to the touch. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Sift the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, place the eggs, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and stir in the vanilla until just combined, then the warm chocolate butter mixture. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a flexible silicone spatula to fold in the remaining 4 ounces (115g) chopped chocolate.
4. If the batter is very runny, let it cool for a few minutes until it firms to the consistency of a thick brownie batter. Use a #40 spring-loaded ice cream scoop or 2 spoons to drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Top each cookie with a few chunks of chocolate and a few flecks of flaky salt.
5. Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked and the edges are set, 8–12 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Let cool on the pans. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. The cookies are best the day of baking but will keep, airtight at room temperature, for up to 3 days.