spiced buckwheat molasses cookies

Spiced Buckwheat Molasses Cookies | A Brown Table

I can finally say it, it's time for the holidays and all the baking that comes with it! Granted you can bake at any time of the year but at this time it is extra special because I remember every holiday season that I got to sneak in at the kitchen table and help out my mother, grandmother and aunts when they'd begin their month long holiday cooking that would lead up to Christmas. I'd end up with some awfully shaped marzipans or some distasteful color combinations on cookies so I really don't think I was of much help but the important part was getting to taste everything as it came along. At that age that was all that mattered, feeling big enough to sit with older peeps and feel important enough to participate! Those were some fun times (and as for those hideous edible creations, I'd pass them on to more deserving individuals like my younger sister and cousins).

Spiced Buckwheat Molasses Cookies | A Brown TableSpiced Buckwheat Molasses Cookies | A Brown Table

One of my favorite cookies to prepare during holiday season are molasses cookies. They are simple to prepare but have so many levels of complex of flavors, that make me admire them a lot.  There are also a zillion different ways to prepare molasses cookies and I've been wanting to work on a buckwheat version for a while. Buckwheat and molasses make one delicious combination, they both have earthy flavors and come together rather well in these cookies.

These guys have an additional depth of flavor, I like to add a little bit of black pepper and ginger but this time I've also added a few spice seeds on top of each cookie like I had previously in these turmeric-spiced seed almond cookies . You can leave out the spice seed mix if you want to, the cookies taste great either way!

Spiced Buckwheat Molasses Cookies | A Brown TableSpiced Buckwheat Molasses Cookies | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these cookies that you might find helpful

  • Though I've listed the number of cookies I've made using a fluted pastry wheel/jagger, you can also roll out the dough and use christmas cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you desire. Just remember, the number of cookies will change depending on the size and shape of the cookie cutter. 
  • I liked to roll out the dough between sheets of parchment paper that are lightly dusted with buckwheat flour. It allows lifting the cutout cookies onto baking sheets easier. I also like to freeze the cutout cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before transferring them to baking sheets pre-lined with parchment paper.
  • You can choose to skip the spice seeds garnish on the cookies if you want to. I like the extra touch of flavor and crunch.
Spiced Buckwheat Molasses Cookies | A Brown Table

spiced buckwheat molasses cookies 

yields: approximately 50- 2inch X 1inch cookies  

ingredients 

1 1/2 cups (8 3/4 ounces) buckwheat flour + a little extra for rolling out the dough

1/2 cup (2 3/8 ounces) almond flour 

1/2 cup (2 ounces) dark brown sugar + 1 tablespoon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground 

1/4 teaspoon green cardamom seed powder, freshly ground 

1/4 cup dark molasses 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

14 raw pistachios unsalted, chopped

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon flax seeds 

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

1. Place the almond flour, buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, ginger, black pepper and cardamom together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment at low speed, mix the dry ingredients for about 2 -3minutes until combined. 

2. Add the molasses, butter, vanilla and egg to the batter and mix the ingredients on medium-low speed for 1 minute, then increase speed to medium-high for about 2 -3 minutes until completely combined. You might need to wipe down the bowl during the mixing process with a silicone spatula to allow all the ingredients to mix together completely. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and form into one single ball of dough. Wrap the cookie dough airtight with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before baking. 

3. In a small bowl mix the pistachio ,fennel, flax and sesame seeds along with the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and keep aside until ready to use. 

4. Unwrap the chilled dough and divide into 4 parts and form each part into a rough square about 6 inches wides on each side. Sprinkle a little buckwheat flour on the surface of a sheet of parchment paper. Place one part of the dough on this floured sheet of parchment paper then sprinkle a little more buckwheat flour on the surface, cover with another sheet of parchment paper and using a rolling pin roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about 0.3 cm thick (you could probably go up to 0.5 cm thick) and around  10inchX 12inch in area. Remove the upper layer of parchment paper. Using a sharp paring knife trim of the extra edges and then using the same knife cut the dough into one inch thick strips across its length. Using a fluted pastry wheel/jagger  cut the dough into 2 inch thick strips on both sides to form squares that are around 2inchX1inch in size. Transfer the cut cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and place them about 1/2 inch apart from each other. (If the cut out cookies are too soft too handle during transfer, freeze the entire tray for about 30-45 minutes until you are ready to transfer it will make it easier to handle).

5. Sprinkle a pinch of the spice seed sugar prepared earlier in the center of each cookie. Press this seasoning gently into the cookie (be careful not to go all the way through the cookie). Refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking (you can also wrap the baking sheet with cling film and freeze overnight until ready to bake). 

6. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Bake one tray at a time for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, rotating the tray halfway through the baking process. The cookies will be light golden brown when done and will be slightly brown on the edges. Remove the baking sheet with the cookies from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Repeat steps 4 to 6 to prepare the rest of the cookies, any unused scraps of cookie dough can be saved and brought together to make additional cookies. Stored cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3-4 weeks. 

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney | A Brown Table

Update: Our supper club was a blast! Watching and gauging people's responses as they sampled and ate our food was mixed with feelings of nervousness and excitement. For me this was a fun experience, one very different from this blog but both being equally rewarding in different ways. And, we've already begun the planning of our second supper club, which will probably be held sometime next month. Fingers crossed!

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney |A Brown Table

I grew up with a tamarind tree across the street, the tree was enormous and every fruit season, it survived the onslaught of the owner's kids who would try to steal the fruit by tossing stones of sticks into its branches. The kids would collect the fallen fruit, crack the light brown shell open and season the pulp with grains of salt and eat them directly. I've tried eating raw tamarind in this manner, it's not one of my favorite ways but I love, love, love using it in chutneys and sauces. Goan recipes also use tamarind pretty lavishly to flavor and acidify and it adds a mild hint of sweetness to the dish. 

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney | A Brown Table

I've been wanting to make a breakfast/lunch/dinner appropriate meal. Mostly savory with a little hint of sweetness and a little bit of heat. These savory buckwheat pancakes topped off with a huge helping of acorn squash salsa and this date and tamarind chutney does just that!

This recipe has three components to it;

  • a simple buckwheat pancake batter that is more savory than sweet and I've infused it with a little tamarind pulp.
  • a tamarind and date chutney that needs no sugar and uses the natural sweetness of the date. Be generous with this chutney!
  • an acorn squash salsa. I roasted the squash in the oven and then used ingredients that I normally use to make salsa at home. 
tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney | A Brown Table

Weekend Links

I'd eat everyone of these mini pumpkin loaf cakes.

Learn how to make homemade pumpkin cheesecake chips

Apparently, it was National Cinnamon Roll last week, these Finnish cinnamon rolls are on my to do list being it cinnamon roll week or not! 

Let's add these triple cinnamon pecan sticky buns to that list too.

This colorful Kabocha squash soup and this vegan butternut queso!!!

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney |A Brown Table

acorn squash salsa

yields: 4 - 6 servings

ingredients

1 lb acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup red onion, chopped

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped 

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground 

2 thai chili peppers or 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

1. Cut the squash in half and remove and discard the seeds and strings. Place the squash in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Using a large knife, trim the outer skin off (it should come off easily now). Dice the squash into half inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash and mix to coat evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for about 20-25 minutes until the cubes are tender and cooked. Allow the squash to cool to room temperature before preparing the salsa.

2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl along with the squash, toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use (serve chilled).

date and tamarind chutney

yields: about 3 1/2 -4 generous cups

ingredients

1 cup tamarind fruit, outer shell and seeds removed * 

2 cups packed medjool dates, pits removed

4 cups boiling water

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)

1.  Place the tamarind fruit in a medium bowl and pour 1 cup of the boiling water over it. Allow to sit for about 1-2 hours until the pulp becomes soft and mushy. Strain the pulp through a sieve and keep aside. (Reserve 1 tablespoon of the pulp aside for the pancakes)

2. Pour the rest of the water over the dates and leave aside for about 1-2 hours until soft.

3. Add the rest of the tamarind pulp (except the 1 tablespoon for the pancakes from earlier). Using an immersion blender or blender, puree until smooth. (you might need to pass it through a strainer to get rid of any bits that might not have blended).

4. In a small skillet, heat the cumin and coriander seeds on medium high flame, cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds being to slightly brown and you can smell the fragrance of the spices. Remove and grind this to a fine powder. Add this powder along with the salt and sriracha (optional) to the pureed date and tamarind. Pour this sauce into a medium sized saucepan and cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary. Store chilled in an airtight container. You can also adjust the consistency of the sauce with more water. 

tamarind buckwheat pancakes 

yields: 4 - 6 servings (depends on how big you make them)

ingredients

2 cups buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, reserved from earlier *, **

1 large egg

2 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature (buttermilk can also be used)

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

unsalted butter or vegetable oil for frying the pancakes

1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the butter/oil). Whisk until smooth and combined. Keep aside for 2 minutes.

2. Heat a greased cast iron or nonstick skillet on medium-high and pour about 1/4 cup of batter. Allow to cook on each side for about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes before flipping the pancakes. Prepare the rest of the pancakes similarly and serve warm.

Assembly:

1. Stack as many pancakes as your heart desires in a plate. Place a huge dollop of the acorn squash salsa and generously drizzle with the date and tamarind chutney. Serve and eat asap!

* If you can't find tamarind fruit or pre-made tamarind pulp, use the concentrate. You will need to adjust the amount of concentrate to be added, for the chutney, 1 - 1 /2 teaspoons should be enough (Use less and accordingly adjust  as per your taste). For the pancakes, I recommend using 1/4 teaspoon. 

** Since tamarind is highly acidic, it will react with the baking soda and powder in the pancake batter, so I recommend preparing all the pancakes within an hour or so. If left too long, the batter may end up too flat.