The holiday season breeds FOMO like a virus. And the condition worsens if you happen to also catch an actual virus, forcing you to leave your friend’s holiday party early or not attend at all. Such was the case for Charlie on Saturday night.
Now that I’m officially in my thirties, I don’t stress as much about the nights I elect to wear grey sweat pants instead of a cocktail dress. For me, the FOMO comes mostly in bite-sized form. Usually in the shape of a non-gluten-free fried potato or doughy chocolate chip disk. It’s not the type of FOMO that sets in when you’re home alone watching a Sandra Bullock marathon on AMC with a bowl of pad thai balanced on your chest. No—these days, I only get hit when I’m surrounded by friends in ugly sweaters and dogs in homemade dreidel costumes, in crowded rooms where the airspace is made up of 90 percent eau de latke. Such was the case for me on Saturday night.
When Charlie begged off early to drink mint tea and blow his nose, I decided to join him, knowing that I would carry the scent of potato grease home on my ugly sweater, but that at least there would be a few leftover gluten-free double chocolate cookies waiting for me when I got there.
As someone wrote on my instagram: “they say a friend is the person who shares her last cookie.”
If such is the case, then they would say that this weekend I was a really shitty friend.
On Friday, I made a batch of these buckwheat chocolate cookies from Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s (i.e. The Bojon Gourmet) new book Alternative Baker, which focuses on gluten-free flours. When I got my hands on it, I was so blown away by the flavor combinations and creativity. It’s a must-have for any baker looking to experiment beyond the bland white flour pale, and uncover all the earthy, grassy smoky possibilities of alternative grains.
Buckwheat flour falls into the earthy category. As I mentioned in last week’s buckwheat blini recipe, it’s a great source of protein, iron and fiber—and as Alanna mentions, the warming quality is also good for digestion. One of my favorite things about this book though is that it approaches healthier ingredients from the hedonist side of things. (Be still by HH heart!) She celebrates gluten-free flours as a way to add more nuance and personality to your baked goods. They are an asset, not a textural nuisance to solve.
The flavor element was a small victory for me, as I often struggle with the precision (i.e. following instructions) required to achieve more than sub-par results with my gluten-free baked goods. Buckwheat turns up the volume in these double chocolate cookies, even if you don’t manage to get the optimal crust on top.
According to Alanna, the trick to getting a pretty cracked exterior (as pictured here) is to have the butter warm enough to partially dissolve the sugar but not so hot as to cook the eggs. I got lazy and used the microwave instead of a double boiler on the stove-top to melt the chocolate and butter, so perhaps that’s why I didn’t manage to get this aesthetic. Another reason might be because I don’t own a stand mixer and, instead, used an egg beater to whip the eggs.
Regardless though, what they lacked in perfect texture, these cookies made up for in flavor. They’re impossible to fuck up. Especially with a good dusting of flakey, crack-like sea salt on top.
I shared the majority of the batch with friends on Friday, who all agreed that they were beyond. But the last two were all mine. And they proved that whether you’re going to a dietarily-unfriendly cookie swap, or just skipping the party all together to stay on the couch, these gluten-free double chocolate cookies are a foolproof FOMO cure. Sandra Bullock, optional.
From one healthy, FOMO-prone hedonist, to another,
Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies with Buckwheat and Sea Salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60–70% cacao), about 2 1/4 cups total, chopped , plus several chunks for the tops of the cookies
- 1⁄2 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (sometimes called starch)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup organic granulated 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 6 ounces (170 g / 1 cup) of the chopped chocolate 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. Whisk together the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the eggs, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture triples in volume and is very light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and stir in the vanilla until just combined, then the warm (bot not too hot!) 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 (115 g / ¾ cup) 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 (5 cm) 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 completely on the pans. Enjoy warm or room temperature. The cookies are best the day of baking but will keep, airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.