Those of you who know me know that I'm more than a little obsessed with all things buckwheat. Buckwheat makes a dark blue-ish grey flour that has a sandy texture, and a distinct taste that I can only describe as well, buckwheat-ey. I suppose one could say it tastes nutty. I just think it tastes like the earth. And I love it. I grew up on buckwheat crepes and buckwheat groat (aka kasha) casseroles. Yup. Hippy parents.
Buckwheat is gluten-free which makes it an attractive grain these days, though it is technically not a grain but a seed. It is extremely nutritious and has numerous health properties, being lower on the glycemic scale than most grains, and high in important minerals and flavonoids that protect again cell damage and inflammation.
For a long time, crepes were the only thing I would make with buckwheat flour, which is on the heavy side and can behave in strange and mysterious ways. It is definitely a flour with limitations. For instance, don't ever try to make bread with it, it just won't work, or if it does, I need to know your recipe! Lately, I've tried making shortbread with buckwheat, experimenting with both sweet and savoury kinds. These cookies I'm sharing with you today are all the more buckwheat-ey because they are sweetened with buckwheat honey: a uniquely dark honey that has a robust flavour. It's fairly easy to find in most health food stores. Cut into hearts, dipped in dark bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled with sesame seeds, these shortbread make a deliciously healthy Valentine's treat.
Happy love day everyone! Don't forget that later this week, I'll be announcing the winner of the Italian cookbook giveaway, so don't forget to enter to win on my last blog entry.
SESAME CHOCOLATE BUCKWHEAT SHORTBREAD
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 tbsp. buckwheat honey
1/2 cup butter (I used salted)
4 oz. of dark, high quality chocolate
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients together until you have soft dough that you shape into a ball and flatten. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Bake in a 350 oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Once fully cooled, dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate, sprinkle with sesame seeds and cool on a piece of parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened.