Strawberry Buckwheat Thumbprint Cookies

Remember how I mentioned we’re moving? Well, with only two months left before we go, I’ve got gobs of ingredients to use up in my fridge and pantry. Namely, a vast assortment of gluten-free grains. Alphabetically: amaranth, amaranth four, buckwheat flour, corn meal, hazelnut meal, millet, millet flour, quinoa flour, rice bran, sorghum flour and teff flour. Needless to say, I’ve got some serious baking to do.

I have made it my mission this week to attack the 2 pound bags of buckwheat flour and millet flour. Today we’ll focus on buckwheat.

Buckwheat, despite that pernicious word “wheat”, is actually gluten free.  It is native to Asia and the key ingredient in soba noodles and sundry other prepartions like French galletes, and Russian blinis. This psuedo-grain is often referred to Kasha here in the states. It imparts a subtle woodsy flavor to baked goods that I absolutely love.  Another feature to note is that buckwheat is related to rhubarb…which got me thinking, if rhubarb and strawberries are such a dynamic duo, wouldn’t buckwheat and strawberries make a great pair, too?

The verdict?  Move over rhubarb. Buckwheat and strawberries are absolutely sublime.

The bummer is, as much as I love the flavor profile of buckwheat, I learned last fall that I am highly sensitive to it, despite it being gluten free (along with almonds, egg whites, green beans and kidney beans!). However, I refuse to throw out a two pound bag of nutritious, whole-grainlike flour. So, Adam, my little guinea pig, has had these cookies all to him self.

I have to admit, I did have one teeny nibble, just to make sure they were as amazing as they looked.  The little ruby colored gems did not disappoint.

The buckwheat shortbread would make lovely cookies on their own. The addition of strawberry jam just makes them a extra special. Do use the good jam; in another effort to finish up random ingredients in our fridge, I went with a weird low-sugar jelly for half the cookies and then some Knott’s Berry Farm jam on the other half. The cookies with Knott’s jam were far tastier!

This recipe makes about 1 dozen cookies using a round tablespoon measure for the dough. I used a round 1/2 teaspoon to make the even sized craters for the filling or you can use your thumb, hence “thumbprints”. Also, my filling shrank some while cooking. So, I simply heated a little more fruit spread in the microwave for 30 seconds and re-filled the craters before the cookies cooled completely. This worked well and the filling set perfectly.

In a bowl whisk together the following dry ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour*
  • 2 tablespoons white or brown rice flour, or more sorghum flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

Using a stand mixer beat the following wet ingredients until just combined:

  • 7 tablespoons ghee, butter, or Spectrum organic shortening, which would make them vegan (or I would guess approximately 4 tablespoons coconut oil)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until a dough just comes together.

Measure out tablespoons of dough and gently roll into balls. Arrange 1 1/2″ apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using your thumb or a round 1/2 teaspoon create indentions in the center or each dough ball. Fill each indention with jam. Refrigerate dough 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake 15 – 20 minutes until edges of cookies just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, refilling any craters with additional jam if necessary.

* If you’re not gluten free, simply replace all the gluten free flours except the buckwheat with about 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.

La Tartine Gourmande’s A Chocolate Cake with Character
Strawberry Banana Muffins at Karina’s Kitchen
Alice Medrich’s Nibby Butter Buckwheat Cookies at 101 Cookbooks


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