Renee Kohlman says that, for her, the process of writing a blog post or cookbook feels like writing a letter to a friend. This comes across clearly to the reader who feels comfortable and at ease when reading stories throughout her Taste Canada Gold-winning cookbook, All the Sweet Things.
The cookbook is an ode to baked goods. Renee’s passion for sweets and desserts comes through clearly and endearingly. The cookbook is a labour of love for Renee. She wrote, art directed, and shot the entire book herself.
We asked Renee to deliver one of her favourite recipes from the book and she didn’t disappoint. This recipe for Buckwheat and Olive Oil Molasses Cookies is perfect for the winter season. See below for an excerpt from her cookbook, All the Sweet Things as well as the entire recipe for the cookies.
Don’t let the lengthy ingredient list frighten you. There are small amounts of aromatics here, but they really make these cookies quite fantastic. And yes, that includes the black pepper. My old friend Peter used to make me Knock Your Socks Off Cookies when I lived in Montreal, and I thought he was bonkers for putting pepper in baked goods. Turns out he was brilliant.
These cookies are also dairy-free—something to keep in mind when baking for those who don’t eat dairy. I really love how they sparkle with coarse sugar, and while they will surely light up any dessert platter at the holidays, promise me you won’t confine them to just that time of year. Soft and chewy, with a wonderful pop of spice in each bite, these are meant to be enjoyed year-round. If you decided to fill them with spoonfuls of Mascarpone Soft Serve and make the best ice cream sandwiches ever, I’d jump up and down with joy.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
1¼ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 large egg
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup molasses
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼–½ cup coarse or raw turbinado sugar, for rolling
Combine all of the dry ingredients (flour to pepper) in a large bowl and mix well. Whisk together the remaining ingredients (except the coarse sugar) in another large bowl and then stir in the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1–3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the coarse sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop out the dough with a soup spoon and roll it into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar and place them on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 4 minutes, rotate the pans from upper rack to lower rack, and bake for another 4 minutes, until the cookies are puffed up and cracked. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheets on wire racks.
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
You likely won’t use all of the sugar when rolling. Save it for the next time you bake!
Recipe excerpt from All the Sweet Things © Renee Kohlman, 2017 for Menu Magazine
Recipe and image courtesy of TouchWood Editions.