Monday, March 30, 2020

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've had buckwheat flour in my cupboards for a while, leftover from a gluten-free cookie recipe I made during the holidays. So considering the #coronabaking trending in Instagram and the pantry cooking/baking group I was invited to in Facebook, I decided to try to make something for which I already had ingredients on hand. I had half a bittersweet chocolate bar as well. I started with the Bon Appetit recipe but made half a recipe, decided to do half and half buckwheat flour and regular flour, and used 1 egg instead of having to figure out how to do half of an egg. So my cookies probably don't look quite the same as they are pictured in the original recipe; the recipe below is the original. I didn't add the extra salt either, as I found the dough to be salty enough.

Salty Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies




  1. Heat ½ cup (1 stick) butter in a small saucepan over the lowest heat possible until melted (you don’t want it to sputter or brown), about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour, ½ cup (63 grams) buckwheat flour, ½ tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. baking soda, and 1¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Coarsely chop 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate. Set aside a handful of chocolate in a small bowl.
  4. Scrape butter into a large bowl and add ⅔ cup (133 grams) brown sugar and ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar. Whisk vigorously until butter has been absorbed into the sugar and no big lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add 1 large egg, then 2 large egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until fully combined after each addition. Whisk in 1 tsp. vanilla extract. At this point, your mixture should look much lighter in color and be smooth, almost creamy.
  6. Add dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir until just incorporated and almost no dry streaks remain. Add chopped chocolate (but not the chocolate you reserved in the small bowl) to batter. Gently mix just to distribute. Cover bowl with an airtight bowl cover, a kitchen towel, or plastic wrap and chill 2 hours. (If you’re crunched for time, 1 hour will do, but cookies will be best after 2.)
  7. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop out scant 2-Tbsp. portions of dough (or, if you have a scoop, this is a leveled-off #30 or a heaping #40) until you have 10 portions divided between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets (you want five per sheet—these will spread a bit!). Roll portions into balls and gently press a piece or 2 of reserved chocolate into each one. It’s okay to cram the chocolate on there—some pieces can even be vertical. Cover and chill any remaining dough.
  8. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until edges are golden brown and centers are puffed, 8–10 minutes. (Pull at 8 if you like your cookies softer and want to guarantee they’re still soft the next day!)
  9. Working one at a time, pull baking sheets out of the oven and tap lightly on the stove to deflate cookies. Sprinkle with Diamond Crystal kosher salt (if you’re using Morton, skip it: the crystals are too large). Let cookies cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Let baking sheets cool (to do this fast, run them under cold water), then turn parchment paper over. Repeat process with remaining dough, dividing evenly between baking sheets, to make 6–8 more cookies.
  10. Do Ahead: Cookies can be baked 3 days ahead. Let cool; store airtight at room temperature.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Easy Scones

Inspired by our compliance with social distancing, one of the English faculty members suggested we all make the same recipe together this weekend - easy scones, allegedy from Mary Berry but posted on the Easy Online Baking Lessons website. So that means they are English style. I paid attention to the tips in the recipe because there are things that can make a scone not rise very high. I couldn't find a medium biscuit cutter, so I used a wine glass.

The one step of the recipe I disobeyed was when it said to let the butter come to room temperature? Never in my life have I heard that advice for scones or biscuits, it was always the colder the better. So I used butter straight from the fridge. I used oat milk because that was the only kind I had on hand. I also made a half recipe because let's be honest, I would be the only one in my house eating any.

I did get quite a rise on the scones, and pictured is my shining star. The instructions say to only glaze the very top, making sure it does not drip on the sides, and I definitely had one wonky scone where the glaze had dripped. Interesting!

Easy Scones


450g Self-raising Flour OR (3 & 2/3 cups AP/Plain Flour plus 5 + 1/2 (level) tsp Baking powder + scant 1 tsp salt) 
2 tsp Baking Powder
50g Castor Sugar (level ¼ cup*)
75g Butter, cubed & at room temp (level 2/3 stick or 1/3 cup)
2 Eggs
225ml Milk (up to 1 cup)

1. Weigh out the butter whilst cubing it and leave out to come to room temperature.

2. Lightly oil or grease the baking tray(s) and place baking/parchment paper on top.

3. Weigh or measure in the flour into the bowl, spoon in the baking powder, give it a mix through & drop in the butter.

4. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour & continue to do this until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, (very tiny pieces). Or use a pastry cutter.

5. Put the bowl back onto the scales and weigh in the sugar. Give it a good mix.

6. Beat the eggs in a jug and then top up to the 300ml (10 fl oz) mark with the milk, (depending on the size of the eggs, you might not need as much milk).

7. Give the liquid a good mix and then take 2 tbsp of it out and place in a small bowl to use later.

8. Gradually add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients until a soft dough is formed. Be aware that the dough being a little sticky is good for the scones to rise. So only add enough of the liquid until just sticky.

9. Flour a pastry board or worktop or use some baking/parchment paper with a little flour on top.

10. Heat up the oven to: 220c/200c Fan Oven/425f/Gas Mark 6.

11. Meanwhile put the dough down and flatten gently with your hands until you have a level piece of dough about 1 inch (2.5cm) high. Try not to go smaller than this. Don’t be tempted to roll out the dough as this won’t help the scones to rise.

12. Flour the cutter or glass and cut out the scones. Push the cutter down and DO NOT TWIST the cutter. Use a spatula or knife to very carefully transfer to the prepared baking tray. (or let it fall onto the prepared tray). Try to touch the sides of the scones as little as possible.

13. Gently roll up the scraps of dough by hand and flatten out to cut out however more scones you can get, remembering not to knead and handle as little as possible.

14. Now using a pastry brush, very carefully brush the egg/milk liquid you reserved earlier onto the tops of the scones only. If the liquid goes down the sides, it can ruin the rise of the scones. So, the best way to avoid it is by shaking the brush before moving to the scone and starting to brush from the center and go outwards, so there is less liquid on the brush to spill down the sides.

15. Bake for 8-12 minutes until well risen and golden in color. Turn and rotate the baking trays between the shelves during baking, to ensure an even bake.

16. Cool a little on a cooling rack and enjoy warm with whatever fillings you enjoy.

**You can freeze these scones and once defrosted, heat a little in a warm oven.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake

I took a brief pause from the blog but come back to you with a five-star recipe from King Arthur Flour for a buttermilk cake with a pecan glaze. I brought it to the Faulkner class I'm auditing because it felt like it had several southern elements. It was tasty although my cake rose higher than the picture on the KA website.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" cake pan.
  2. Beat the butter and brown sugar together till smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, beating till smooth.
  4. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the baking soda, salt, and flour to the wet ingredients, beating till thoroughly combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the topping.
  8. Stir the butter and the sugar together. Add the milk, pecans, and salt. The glaze will be thick but pourable.
  9. Top the baked cake with the topping, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven. The topping will look very runny. You can eat the cake hot, with the glaze still gooey; or let the cake sit at room temperature for a few hours, by which time the glaze will have set.