These shortbread-style cookies are unusual but absolutely delicious. The recipe is from Pure Dessert, a cookbook I bought a while ago but never managed to actually bake from for a long time. I finally determined that the time had come, and selected this recipe, which I think was an excellent choice! Although it does have some pricier ingredients that aren't standard in most kitchens (buckwheat flour and cacao nibs), the recipe doesn't use too much of either, leaving you plenty left over for another batch of cookies or a different recipe. Or, if you have access to bulk bins, you can buy just a small amount.
The cacao nibs add a great subtle chocolate crunch to these cookies. They're not as intense as chocolate chips would be, and the small size means it's easy to roll out and slice the cookies. Even with the fancier ingredients, these are still just basically slice-and-bake cookies, which means they're really easy to pull together. The buckwheat makes the texture perfectly tender, and also lends an interesting flavor that will be very strong right after baking but fade over time. When I first tasted the cookies, I thought the buckwheat flavor was a little overpowering, but by the next day, I was totally addicted and couldn't stop eating these!
Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies (from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich)
1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 ounces) buckwheat flour
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Whisk together the flours in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth and creamy but not fluffy (about 1 minute). Mix in the nibs and vanilla. Add the flours and mix until just incorporated. Scrape the dough into a mass and, if necessary, knead it with your hands a few times so that everything comes together.
3. Form the dough into a 12 by 2-inch log. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough log into 1/4-inch slices. Place the cookies about 1-1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
5. Bake until the cookies are just beginning to color at the edges, 10-14 minutes. Cool on a rack. The cookies are tasty fresh but even better the next day; store cookies up to 1 month in an airtight container.