The first time I saw the 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction, I was immediately smitten. It seemed like the perfect moment in my life to watch the film and reflect on the ideas that it presented. It was both what I wanted to do and what I wanted to avoid. Starring Will Ferrell (played the aptly named “Harold Crick”) and narrated by the brilliant, Emma Thompson (Karen Eiffel), it is a dramatic comedy with a focus on what we have control of in our lives. It explores the unexpected, how we treat one another and how our daily actions define who we are.
My favourite character is Ana Pascal, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, a partial tax-payer and a bakery owner. She is a strong woman with an unwavering set of ethical and moral beliefs that she is not afraid to voice. She challenges and ultimately softens the main character. Her weapon? Cookies, of course.
It’s been a decade since the film came out yet I continue to recite Ana's line, “I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies” as if it were my own (click here for the 4-minute YouTube clip). Making and sharing. It is such a simple concept but offers a a very basic connection with our community. Everyone has something to contribute, no matter how important others may deem the endeavour. Cookies always warm the heart.
Don't be fooled by the name "wheat" in buckwheat. These cookies are a gluten free. Buckwheat has no gluten and is actually a seed rather than grain. The oatmeal makes them spread and become crispy on the outside while providing that nostalgic cookie kick. The chocolate adds gooeyness while the walnuts add the buttery texture. Since this recipe is easy to make and fairly forgiving, I have provided the measurements in cups as well as using metric weight measurements.
Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Walnut and Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 24 (large) or 36 (smaller) cookies
Time: 20 minutes to make the dough + resting (overnight if possible) + baking time
225g (1 cup) cool, unsalted butter
200g (1 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
150g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
215g (1 ½ cups) buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
140g (1 ½ cups) whole walnuts
120g (1 cup) gluten free rolled oats
300g (1 ¾ cups) chocolate chips
1. Measure all of your ingredients. Let the butter warm up a little by cutting into pieces (do not heat).
2. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
3. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Baking the walnuts is essential to getting that buttery taste and feel in your cookies. Take out, turn off the oven and set aside to cool.
4. Beat the butter and sugars with a hand mixer or stand mixer, until light, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add and beat the eggs until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula. Mix in the vanilla extract.
6. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet using a mixer at a low setting.
7. Chop the walnuts into small pieces.
8. Add the chocolate chips, oatmeal and walnuts to the dough.
9. Rest the dough by wrapping it in wax paper and storing it in the refrigerator overnight.
10. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) when ready to bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out 1 ½ tablespoons of dough and shape into a "tall ball" using your hands. Balance on the cookie sheet. Repeat. Pop the whole tray back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should look a little under baked. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before consuming.
Enjoy with a glass of milk.
My general rule is that cookies are best enjoyed the day you bake. These cookies, however, are delightful on day 2 and 3 as they become chewy. Be sure to store them in an airtight container.
This dough can easily be stored in the freezer by wrapping it in wax paper and then placing it in a freezer bag. Store for up to 2 months (if you have the self-discipline!).