Doughs made with buckwheat don't look all that appetizing. They're the color gray. Incidentally, I dare someone to name one gray food that looks inviting. I for one can't think of any.
Luckily when you bake with buckwheat, it browns a bit so the appearance warms up. But before that--yuck. For this recipe I had to create this log of gray buckwheat cookie dough to chill so I could slice it up into cookie circles later and bake. As you can guess, the log of gray dough looked less than tempting--like some sort of generic sustenance that would be served to the masses in a post-apocalyptic earth science fiction movie. It was sticky, wet and of course...gray. The upside is that the old adage, don't judge a book by its cover, applies here. The resulting cookies were delicious.
This recipe is another one from Alice Medrich's Flavor Flours. I've been baking from this recipe book a lot lately--partly because I'm intrigued to see how some of Alice Medrich's gluten free creations turn out. Also because I've bought just about every flour specified in the book and I'm afraid it's going to go rancid if I don't start using them up faster. Nevertheless, its been fun. And the buckwheat linzer cookies--despite their pre-baked appearance--were delectable. They were buttery, sweet and soft. Aside from the color, the buckwheat adds a bit of a grainy texture to the cookie--which I didn't look at that as a negative attribute. A little texture is nice sometimes.
But at the same time I feel as though I need to have a traditional linzer cookie at my side in order to properly perceive the differences between the two types of flours. Plus, in addition to buckwheat flour this recipe calls for oat flour and white rice flour. Technically, the buckwheat flour is the predominant flour in the blend but I can't help but feel that with the added butter and sugar plus the other flours it might be hard to pick out the flavor of the buckwheat. Or...maybe my taste buds just aren't that sophisticated.
If anyone has any trepidation about baking with buckwheat, let me be the one to allay those concerns. It may look kinda gross before it's baked but it doesn't taste gross--unless you make it taste gross of course. I'm assuming, from my recent experience that you could use it to make any number of good baked goods--this recipe being proof of that in fact. It's different yes. But certainly not in a bad way--in a good way, a real good way.
55g (1/4c + 2 T) white rice flour
70g (1/2c + 2 T) buckwheat flour
65g (2/3c) oat flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
100g (1/2c) granulated sugar
60g (1/4c) cream cheese cut into chunks
170g (12 T) unsalted butter at room temp. and cut into chunks
1 T water
1/2c of preserves--I used blackberry
Using the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the dry ingredients and process for about 30 seconds. Then add everything else and process until a smooth ball forms. Scrape the dough out of the food processor and divide it in half. With each half of dough, form it into a log that is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day when you are ready to get baking, place oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and then preheat it to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with either silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set them aside. Next, take one chilled log of dough from the refrigerator and slice it into just a little less than 1/4 inch slices and place each slice on baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Make sure you have equal slices on each sheet--it will make the next step a little easier. Do the same thing with the other log of dough. Bake two baking sheets at a time for 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the upper rack. Place the one on the lower rack into the upper position and rotate it 180 degrees. With the baking sheet that was removed from the oven, use a 1/2 inch cookie cutter to cut circles in the middles of each cookie--the centers may or may not pop out--it doesn't matter whether or not they do. Place the baking sheet in the lower rack and bake both sheets for another 10-15 minutes or just until the edges start to brown a bit. Once done, remove each baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on each sheet.
Once the cookies are cooled, match all of them up and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of preserves on the bottom of each one. Sandwich it with the cut-out top and enjoy.