The other day, my son did something that most kids do at least once in their childhood; he fell at the playground and split his lip. He gave his upper two front teeth a good knock and there was, naturally, blood everywhere. It was in the first five minutes of a playdate with a boy he’d been dying to spend some time with, so it was a very distressing time for my little man. The promise of some pudding and a few homemade chocolate chip cookies helped to soften the blow. Ice packs in hand, we took a quick detour to the dentist to make sure the teeth were okay, and then it was home to his no-biting-required treats.
The pudding was of the storebought ready-to-eat variety, as I was eager to soothe my little guy’s spirits and didn’t want to make him wait even for the boxed kind. But the cookies I made while he and his siblings were napping. Little did he know that I had already been intending to make the cookies before the lip-splitting incident. I had some buckwheat flour that I’d been eager to try out and somehow got it into my head that it would make good chocolate chip cookies. There weren’t too many recipes that came up on a Google search so it looked like I was on my own.
Okay, I can handle this. I’ve made how many chocolate chip cookies in my day? Thousands upon thousands. Granted, they were all with regular flour and sugar, but I’ve become pretty comfortable making some low carb substitutions. Mind you, buckwheat flour is not really low carb. It has as many or more carbs than whole wheat flour, but it has twice the fiber (6g per 1/4 cup) and I thought that a mix of buckwheat and almond meal would go well with chocolate. The lack of gluten in either buckwheat or almond meal could make consistency an issue, but I thought a little xanthan gum might help hold them together. It’s always worth a try, right? And my little boy was expecting some warm chocolate chip cookies when he woke up from his nap, so I gave it a go.
The Results: I am here to tell you that buckwheat and dark chocolate go VERY well together. These had an interesting and intense flavour that the whole family enjoyed. The texture really does approximate what I might expect of regular chocolate chip cookie, although a little softer and less chewy and gooey. Hey, if you are low carbing it, you can’t expect the moon, right? I’m happy with these and I look forward to playing with buckwheat flour again.
For the record, I didn’t have as much Lindt 70% chocolate as I needed so I made up the difference with 1/4 cup carob chips. Although I like the carob chips on their own, I am not a fan of them in my cookie. They don’t get melty like real chocolate and the cookies that were heavy on carob and low on real chocolate didn’t taste as good as the ones that had mostly chocolate. So I am writing up the recipe for all chocolate chips and I’d advise you to go with that if you make this recipe.
Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but it helps keep cookies together)
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 drops stevia extract
1 Lindt 70% cacao chocolate bars, chopped (or 3/4 cup of your favourite sugar-free chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.
In a larger bowl, cream butter with an electric mixture. Add erythritol and beat together until combined. Add egg, almond milk, vanilla and stevia and continue to beat together until mixture thickens slightly.
Add dry ingredients in two batches, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
Roll dough into one-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly with the palm of your hand.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges brown slightly. Cool on baking sheet.
Makes approx 20 cookies. Total carb per cookie is 7g, but 4.1g if you subtract erythritol.