Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies w/ Buckwheat
My husband is a cookie dunking fanatic. He loves a good cookie dunked in his morning coffee and he’ll often grab a bag of cookies from the supermarket when he’s out shopping “unsupervised”. I will have to give him credit though, as he has learned to read labels quite well and will often make the best choice available to him.
All of that said, I try not too be too much of a fanatic about these things any more. Food is meant to nourish us, but there is so much more to it than that. Food is nostaglia, it’s childhood memories, cultural beliefs, family traditions. And a cookie is a treat. So, I don’t want this article to turn into a commercial cookie hate-a-thon. Sometimes you’ll need to grab a bag of cookies at the supermarket and that’s ok.
When you do have extra time on your hands, you can bake one yourself, with a pinch of love and wholesome ingredients that add nourishment, but remember, it’s still a cookie, and it’s still a treat, so it can be indulgent too.
On that note, I set out to create a grown up cookie that was perfect for dunking, lower on the glycemic index and higher in nutritional value than commercial varieties, with a rich chocolate and hazelnut flavour to appease the chocolate hazelnut cookie dunkin lover of mine.
I knew I had done well when hubby said "wifey questi biscottini sono spettacolari” (these cookies are spectacular) with his mouth full and another cookie in hand.
These cookie are oil free, refined sugar free, vegan and gluten free and made with the goodness of whole food ingredients; home ground buckwheat flour and hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts), creamy hazelnut butter, 92% dark chocolate bar and crushed hazelnuts and sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup. But they’re every bit as delicious (if not more) than a store bought cookie, making them worth every bit of effort, which is not very much effort if I’m being honest because they’re really easy to make.
Yes, I know, it’s a cookie, so I’ll keep this brief.
Buckwheat which has nothing to do with wheat at all, is from the rhubarb family. It's naturally gluten-free and can be eaten as groats, flakes, or ground into a flour. I made delicious raw or cooked porridge, granola, or a simple side dish in place of rice or quinoa. The flour is versatile and can be used to make pancakes, cookies, and other baked goods. It does have an earthy flavour that takes some getting used to, so pairing it with a sweeter flour like almond (or any nut meal for that matter) is a good idea.
Buckwheat is an excellent source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorous. It is also naturally rich in rutin, which helps lower blood pressure, and protect against heart disease and atherosclerosis by preventing platelet aggregation, blood clot formation and lipid oxidation (free radicals that create harmful blood cholesterol). Buckwheat has also been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and control blood sugar levels.
In macrobiotics, buckwheat is known to be a Yang or warming food and is highly recommended for consumption during the cool winter months. Not surprisingly, buckwheat is used extensively in Northern European countries where the climate tends to be cooler.
DARk chocolate & hazelnut Cookies with BUckwheat
Servings: 12 cookies Time: 25 min Difficulty: Easy
65 g Buckwheat Flour (1/2 C scant)*
50 g Ground Hazelnuts/Hazelnut Meal (1/2 C heaping)*
Pinch Fine Sea Salt
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Pure Bourbon Vanilla Powder
30 g Coconut Sugar (about 1/4 C)*
2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Smooth/Runny Hazelnut Butter
3 Tbsp Filtered Water, room temperature
2 Tbsp Crushed Hazelnuts
32 g Dark Chocolate Bar, chopped into coarse chunks or Dark Chocolate Chips (I used 4 squares of Vivani Coconut Sugar Sweetened 92% Dark Chocolate)
6 hazelnuts, halved, for topping
Preheat oven to 180 C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add buckwheat flour, hazelnut meal, coconut sugar, vanilla, sea salt, and baking soda to a bowl. Mix well to combine.
Create a well in the center and pour in hazelnut butter and maple syrup and stir to combine. Add crushed hazelnuts and chocolate chunks or chips and a small amount of water 1 tablespoon at a time and stir until the mixture comes together to form a cookie dough.
Form 12 cookie balls with your hands, place on cookie sheet and press them down slightly to flatten them. They won't spread much, so you don't have to worry about spacing them too much.
Press half a whole hazelnut into the center of each cookie and bake on the center rack for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool until set. They will seem a bit undone and soft at first, but you just have to give them some time to set. Do not over bake them, or they will dry out and the chocolate will burn
* I've used store bought buckwheat flour, ground buckwheat groats and ground buckwheat flakes to make these and all work wonderfully
*I've used store bought hazelnut meal and home ground from roasted hazelnuts, both work well, just make sure you measure 50 g of the meal, not the whole nuts
*If the coconut sugar is clumpy or thick, run it through the food processor or spice mill to smooth it out before adding it into the flour mixture
Biscotti al Cioccolato Fondente e Nocciola con grano saraceno
Porzione: 12 biscotti Tempo: 25 min Difficoltà: Facile
65 g Farina di grano saraceno (1/2 tazza circa) *
50 g di nocciole tritate / farina di nocciole (1/2 tazza circa) *
Pizzico di Sale marino fine
1/4 cucchiaino di bicarbonato di sodio
1/2 cucchiaino di vaniglia bourbon in polvere (2 grammi circa)
30 g di zucchero di cocco (1/4 tazza circa) *
2 cucchiai di sciroppo d'acero puro
3 cucchiai di crema di nocciola liquida (non troppo densa)
3 cucchiai di acqua filtrata, temperatura ambiente
2 cucchiai di nocciole tritate
32 g di barretta di cioccolato fondente, tagliata a pezzi grossi o scaglie di cioccolato fondente (ho usato 4 quadrotti di cioccolato fondente Vivani 92% e dolcificato con zucchero di cocco)
6 nocciole, tagliate a metà, per decorare
Riscaldare il il forno a 180 ° C e foderare una teglia con carta da forno.
Amalgamare la farina di grano saraceno, farina di nocciole, zucchero di cocco, vaniglia, sale marino e bicarbonato di sodio in una ciotola. Mescolare bene.
Creare un pozzo al centro e versare la crema di nocciole e lo sciroppo d'acero e mescolare bene.
Aggiungere nocciole tritate e pezzi di cioccolato e pocchissima acqua 1 cucchiaio alla volta e mescolare fino ad ottenere un impasto modellabile.
Formare 12 palline di biscotti con le mani, posizionarle sulla teglia foderata e premerle leggermente per appiattirle.
Non si diffonderanno molto, quindi non devi preoccuparti di spaziarli troppo.
Premere mezza nocciola al centro di ogni biscotto e infornare sulla griglia centrale per 15 minuti.
Togliere dal forno e lasciare raffreddare completamente.
All'inizio sembreranno un po troppo morbidi, ma poi una volta rafeddati saranno perfettamente solidi. Non tenerli troppo al forno altrimenti si seccheranno e il cioccolato si brucia.
* Ho provato la ricette con della farina di grano saraceno pronta ma anche partendo dai chicchi e dai fiochi macinati a casa e tutti i tre vanno bene per la ricetta
* Ho provato sia la farina di nocciole pronta che quella preparata a casa partendo dalle nocciole tostate, entrambe vanno bene, assicurati di misurare 50 g di farina, non le noci intere
* Se lo zucchero di cocco non è abbastanza fine, passalo nel robot da cucina o il mulino per le spezie per renderlo più fine e omogeneo prima di aggiungerlo alla miscela di farina