February 12, 2013

Buckwheat Shortbread Hearts Dipped in Chocolate and Sesame

I have to admit I am not much of a Valentine's Day person. But this year I'm just a little bit excited because I get to be reunited with my sweetheart who I haven't seen in 6 long never-ending weeks. Yesterday, he was on the road all day, making his way here, and I made these cookies while I waited for him.

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, I've found buckwheat bread to be nearly impossible to make (if you have a recipe, let me know)! 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! 


3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 tbsp. buckwheat honey
1/2 cup butter, softened (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.


  1. So beautiful! I just bought buckwheat flour on the weekend and was thinking of you. It'
    s not Bob's Red Mills this time. I'll let you know how my crepes--and this shortbread--turn out. :)

    1. Thank Val! Happy buckwheat-ing! By the way, your gorgeous rose-sprinkled gluten-free shortbreads were the inspiration behind the decoration on these cookie!

  2. This is something really appealing and easy with your detailed recipes. I loved the ingrediets used. The flavour must be wonderful!

    1. Thanks Purabi! Yes, I love simple recipes without too many ingredients :-) I love your blog, I want to try your Aloo Paratha!

  3. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Love the blog, keep going! http://woodandchocolate.blogspot.com

  4. I wish I had found these earlier! They look so good and the decorations are so cute. The buckwheat flour gives the cookies a really interesting color! Very distinctive.
    I don't have a lot of experience with gluten free baking but am trying to work on it...recently I was given a book called Health on Your Plate that has a long list of alternative grains and flours, and millet was on the list. My book said millet absorbs flavors really easily, but your recipe seems to really benefit from a strong buckwheat flavor - maybe if I stick to the buckwheat honey it would work. Anyway they look delicious! Thank you for sharing : )

  5. I love the earthiness of buckwheat and distinct flavor of buckwheat honey. Great idea! I want to make these. Happy love day too.

    1. Thanks Wild Greens and Sardines!! We are united in our love of octopus, sardines, buckwheat, and so much more I'm sure! Happy love day to you :-)