The rain has resumed. Much like the UK and Ireland, it rains in the Pacific Northwest for most of the year, and a hot, fragrant cup of tea is just the thing to warm your hands when the rain is lashing outside. Given their love of tea, it’s no surprise that the English developed a cookie that is its perfect accompaniment—the chocolate digestive. Digestives are typically made with whole wheat, and are light enough on sugar to taste almost wholesome. Dipping them in chocolate transforms them into a salty-sweet cookie designed for teatime (also known as elevenses.)
This recipe relies on spelt flour, which is wheat free but not gluten free. Remembering the practically savory flavor of plain digestives from before my gluten-free days, I decided that buckwheat flour would make the best substitute for spelt. Its slight sourness really gave the cookies that whole-grain heartiness I was aiming for. I ended up using ½ cup of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour blend, and ½ cup of buckwheat flour, just because I know the buckwheat can be overwhelming on its own. I also added the ¼ teaspoon of xantham gum recommended by Bob’s Red Mill when preparing cookies from their gf flour blend. In addition to the flours, this recipe calls for old-fashioned rolled oats. Oats are naturally gluten free, but the machines that cut them are usually heavily contaminated with wheat, so the only safe way to go if you’re celiac is to purchase gluten free oats. Blending the dry ingredients and butter together in a food processor (or blender) reduces the oats to a coarse texture, leaving a few chewy flakes in the final product.
This recipe emphasizes a couple of times the importance of keeping the dough chilled, so if starts to get sticky be sure to pop it back in the fridge for a few moments. I don’t own a simple round cookie-cutter, so instead I made little people and dipped the bottom half in rich, melted dark chocolate. The chocolate was rich enough that dunking the whole cookie wasn’t necessary, but by all means, follow your heart on this one. Just be sure to check that your chocolate chips are gluten free and your digestives are fully cooled before any dunking occurs.
These digestives were just right with a cup of dark, milky tea. Let the rain keep falling–I’ve got everything I need.
Homemade Chocolate Digestives via Food52
By londonbakes March 2014