Putting a Breton twist on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies! Today’s recipe revisits the American classic recipe of Chocolate Chip cookies, with the use of buckwheat flour and sea salt – two staple ingredients from my home region Brittany. Buckwheat flour gives earthy and nutty flavors to these chewy cookies, boosted with sea salt that is used both inside the dough and sprinkled over top.
If you think chocolate chip cookies couldn’t get any better – just wait, and try!
Buckwheat, a staple ingredient in Brittany.
I have always had a fondness for alternative flours, especially buckwheat flour. Buckwheat, known in French as “blé noir” or “sarrasin”, is a central ingredient of Brittany cooking. It features in many of our local specialties, like savory buckwheat crepes or the earthy kig ha farz meat stew. I enjoyed this flour all throughout my childhood in France and I have always loved it for its distinct earthy and nutty flavours.
Buckwheat flour is gluten-free which makes it a good choice for anybody with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It is packed with nutrients and versatile. It is also widely available and a great choice for anyone just starting to play around in the kitchen with alternative flours.
Notes on Buckwheat flour in the US/Canada and in France
Since starting this blog, I have had a lot of people asking me about buckwheat flour. The question that I get the most is what brand/type of buckwheat flour to buy in the US/Canada to recreate the same taste and look as in France? Most people point out that buckwheat flour is much darker in US/Canada, resulting in darker results in baked goods and crepes.
What I have found from my experience of juggling back and forth between North American and French flours is that the French buckwheat flour is usually sold as refined, whereas buckwheat flour in North America is usually left whole-grain.
The un-refined buckwheat flour found in North America is grainier and darker in color. It will for instance give you crepes that are much darker in color and with a more assertive taste. Examples of such North American whole-grain buckwheat flours are Bob’s Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Flour and the one you can find in bulk at a store like Bulk Barn.
Refined French buckwheat flour is usually more fine, almost powdery and lighter in color. An example of French buckwheat flour is Treblec’s, which is sold everywhere in France, and online. This is probably one of the most famous brands, and one that I grew up enjoying for making crepes.
I personally have no objection using either kind of these buckwheat flour – whole grain or refined. I just know what to expect. For instance, these Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies will end up darker and earthier in taste when using whole grain buckwheat flour. Or they will end up lighter in color and more subtle in taste if using French Treblec’s flour (which I always have a bag of in my pantry!). I love both results – so I am fine with this difference.
But if I make a batch of buckwheat crêpes and want them to be like the ones I enjoy in France, I make sure to use French Treblec’s buckwheat flour.
A few more cooking tips:
- Make sure you use unsalted butter. This recipe calls for adding 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes (or fleur de sel) which will provide plenty enough salt for the cookies. If you use salted butter, your cookies will likely be too salty in taste.
- Melt the butter about 30 minutes before you start the recipe. Set aside and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Choose good quality sea salt flakes such as Maldon. Fleur de sel is also a great choice, such as Le Saunier de Camargue.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips are perfect here. Milk chocolate chips work great too. I also love these cookies with pecans – in this case, use 1 cup of chocolate chips and ½ cup chopped pecans.
I hope you’ll love these Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt as much as I do!
You may also like:
10 tbsp/1.25 stick (140g) unsalted, melted and cooled
2/3 cup (130g) brown sugar
1/3 cup (65g) sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (40g) buckwheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp sea salt flakes, divided
1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Step 1 - In a large mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and sugar until fully incorporated and shiny. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix again until fully incorporated.
Step 2 - Add the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, baking soda and 1 tsp of sea salt flakes. Fold in these dry ingredients until just combined – do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 3 - Pre-heat your oven to 350F (180C) with two racks centered. Prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle the rest of the sea salt flakes on top of each ball.
Bake for 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway, until the cookies are just set and lightly golden on the edges. Let cool for 2 minutes onto the baking sheets and transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below, rate the recipe and/or share a photo on Instagram: tag @pardonyourfrench and hashtag it #pardonyourfrench. Bon Appetit!