Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sour Cherry Buckwheat Scone Cookies

When I moved from Arlington to Capitol Hill (near Eastern Market), it was an adjustment. While I now recognize the awesomeness that is the Hill, I had a hard time separating myself from the land of brown flip flops and infinite Starbucks (thanks for memorializing, Remy). But just days after moving into a rowhouse on 11th Street, SE, an acquaintance of Travis's who lived a couple blocks away stopped by our house bearing homemade banana muffins to welcome us to the hood (the muffin gal is now our dear friend, Judith). With that simple gesture, love for my new digs were sealed. I never got so much as a twinkie from any neighbors when I moved into my Ballston highrise.

We have since left idyllic 11th Street to become homeowners in a more "developing" section of East Capitol Hill. I use that term loosely, because our house is just a few blocks from a pretty well-to-do park...but to give you an idea, my car was stolen from right in front of our house and the corner store has 1-inch thick bullet-proof glass surrounding the register. Anyhow, despite the developing nature of the area, I know that we have some nice neighbors. I've seen them walking their dogs (and obviously dog ownership correlates positively with niceness). Embarassingly though, we know so few of them.

So when some new folks moved into the house at the end of our block, I took a cue from Judith and decided that it was our job to introduce ourselves with a welcome offering. And nothing says let's bond over the local police beat like buckwheat cookies.
The recipe for these neighbor cookies came from the Figgy Buckwheat Scone recipe in Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain (also the inspiration for this Sweet Potato Bread, for which I've received great feedback from people who tested it in their own kitchens). I can't say the figgy scone recipe as printed was a success (the recipe starts with a somewhat complicated "fig butter" that I must have jacked up, because it tasted like I pulled it out of a sewer), but after I ditched the fig butter and tweaked the sizing, the resulting product was a super flavorful, grain-filled cookie.
If you've never used buckwheat flour, count your lucky stars for finding this post. The flavor is strong and nutty and it makes for a super satisfying cookie.  I made pretty small cookies, between 1.5" and 2" in diameter, but if you want a thicker cookie, just leave the dough a little thicker when rolling and make a shorter rectangle.

Sour Cherry Buckwheat Scone Cookies
adapted from Good to the Grain

Makes approx. 50 2" cookies

1 cup buckwheat flour
1-1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into chunks
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup sour cherry preserves (or your favorite fruit preserves)

Sift or mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add cold butter chunks and work into dry mixture with your fingers until the butter is broken into rice-sized pieces. Add cream and mix with a spatula until dough is incorporated. Dough is sticky and you may need to switch over to using your hands to get all the flour incorporated.

Divide dough into two even pieces. One at a time, roll each section of dough out onto a well-floured surface (keep adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking) until you have a rectangle roughly 8" by 14" (dough will be around 1/4" thick). Spread half the preserves over the surface of the dough, then roll lengthwise into a log (so that you have a 14" log). Repeat the process with the second piece of dough.

Wrap the two logs in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
Remove logs from freezer and heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/4" slices and place evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Deliver to neighbors with a smile. Smile is key.


  1. These are so visually appealing - I love rolled cookies like this. And buckwheat and cherry sounds like a great taste combination.

  2. i can attest first hand to their cherry deliciousness!!

  3. Mike and I move February 5th.

    I am just saying.

  4. Yummy! Where can I find buckwheat flour? Whole Foods?

  5. Mmmm I love sour cherry anything!

  6. Suzanne, you can usually get buckwheat flour at any grocery store. My personal shopper has asured me that it's available at Harris Teeter.

    Mary W., I will bake you multiple sour cherry desserts for your return.

    Liz, send me that address baby.

  7. Katie - these sound (and look) delish!

  8. Katie-
    Made these this weekend for a party and they were a great success. Thanks!


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