Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies from Alternative Baker

buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co
buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co
buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co
buckwheat double chocolate cookies | apt 2b baking co

And just like that, it feels like fall in NYC. It's a mostly quiet Sunday around here - we are heading into a busy couple of weeks so I am trying to take things nice and slow (ish) because the truth is, my to-do list has felt overwhelming and very anxiety producing lately. But there is fun stuff going on too -  puppy has discovered the joy of sniffing/rolling in/eating the very beginnings of our crunchy fall leaves, and its so cute I can barely bring myself to stop him. I also made some time to bake cookies yesterday, mostly so I could eat one at 5:45 am when I had to take puppy outside for the first of many times today...

I am so thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you for the fudgiest little chocolate cookies today from Alanna Taylor-Tobin's new book, Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours. They made my early morning wake up today almost worth it, almost. I have been following Alanna's gorgeous work for a long time and I like to think of the two of us as kindred dessert spirits - the recipes and lovely photos in this book totally confirmed it! As I dive into the fun of gluten-free baking, I am so happy to have this resource on my shelf because it is full of just the kind of recipes I love to make (including lots of fruit desserts!!).

I started with one of the simpler recipes in the book, mostly because I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. Turns out that everyone else on the internet made these cookies too, and they all look beautiful which is the hallmark of a great recipe :) I, but I can't wait to try Alanna's layer cakes, crisps, cobblers, brownies, and more!

Buckwheat Bergamot Double Chocolate Cookies

from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin

makes about 30 2-inch cookies

These cookies are deeply chocolatey and extra fudgy, almost like little brownie bites. Bergamot is a citrus fruit that gives earl grey tea its flavor, which can be tough to find out of season so substitute a bit of orange zest if you like. The cookies are also awesome without the citrus so choose your own adventure!

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60–70% cacao mass), chopped (about 2¼ cups), plus several chunks for the tops of the cookies

1 1/2 teaspoons packed finely grated zest from 1 medium bergamot (or orange)

1/2 cup (65g) buckwheat flour

2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (130g) cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Flaky salt such as Maldon, for the tops 

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line 2 rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over the lowest possible heat. Add 8 ounces (230g) of the chocolate, and the bergamot zest (if using) 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.

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.

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.

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.

Italian Plum Pie

italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie-0610.jpg
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co
italian plum pie-0613.jpg
italian plum pie | apt 2b baking co

There's a new kid in town, and by kid in town, I mean almost 12 week old maniac puppy in my house. I posted on instagram yesterday that he was 10 weeks old, but when we actually sat down with a calendar this morning we realized he was 12 weeks, not even close to 10.

We have been in a weird time vacuum this summer- busy and traveling at first, and now trying to settle back into a new routine and trying to teach this puppy to sleep in his new home and be a good citizen. NYC is a loud smelly place and our sweet pup is learning to love it more and more everyday, even if it is overwhelming - a 20 minute hang on the stoop is stimulating enough to send him straight to a 2 hour nap. Me too pup, me too. This city is tiring. 

Some friends of ours, I've mentioned a couple of times, decamped Brooklyn for the Pacific Northwest and moved to a house with a hearty rhubarb plant, alongside an Italian plum, and hazelnut tree. Pete joked that their new yard makes it's own trailmix, a very Northwestern ideal.

Apparently that plum tree is an excellent producer of the most beautiful deep-blue purple plums with orangey centers, and our generous pal sent me a box full that I sadly haven't had much time to play with because of aforementioned pup that requires hourly monitoring...But yesterday I said enough is enough - I need to bake something with these plums! As I sliced them open I smiled  at the perfectly contrasting colors and was so happy to be hanging in the kitchen with a peacefully snoozing pup in the other room. 

It was a bit slap-dash as all of my pies are these days. I use my new fave easiest pie crust ever, but swapped in 1/2 rye flour for the all purpose, and employed my general prefered fruit pie formula - adjusted it a bit to suit the fruit. 

Italian Plum Pie

makes one, 9-inch pie

Plum pie is my very favorite summer-to-fall transitional treat. Italian plums are so perfectly suited to cooking and baking that I can't resist them at the market everytime I go. They pair well with both bright citrusy flavors and deeper toastier ones like whole grain flours and warm spices like cinnamon.  In a moment of Four and Twenty Blackbirds inspiration, I shook a bottle of cardamom bitters into the filling which ended up being a totally delicious move, which I highly recommend if you happen to keep a bottle in your bar. If not, a bit of ground cardamom is great too.

2 1/2 times Easiest Pie Crust Ever, split into two discs (sub 1/2 of the all purpose flour for rye)

2 lbs (900g) Italian plums

1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar

seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup (30g) flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

5 shakes/dashes cardamom bitters or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400º F and place a rack in the bottom of the oven. In a large bowl combine the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Use your fingers to rub the and seeds into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Pit and cut the plums into quarters. Add them to the bowl but don't stir quite yet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie. Roll out the other piece of dough into a roughly 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Add the bitters to the filling, then gently stir the filling ingredients together. Fill the pie shell, press gently to compact the fruit, and top with the second crust.

Trim the edges so they are even, then crimp them together. Alternately, cut the second crust into 1 1/2 to 2-inch strips and weave a lattice top.

Slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes or until the crust is very firm. When you are ready to bake, carefully and gently brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble. Cool before slicing.