I should probably open this post by telling you that although this video may make me seem like it, I am not actually a complete luddite. My boyfriend made me promise to confess to you that this is not how we “normally” harvest grains. Using a combine is indeed a ‘wee’ bit faster than my basket and clipper method! However, I wanted to show you how easily rye can be hand-harvested and turned into flour. A simple rub of the hands releases the grain, the chaff can be winnowed away with the wind, and the grain ground into to flour in a small kitchen mill. All in all, a very enjoyable activity on a lazy summer day.
There is nothing quite like the nutty taste and smell of whole grains just milled. I use a small countertop flour mill to freshly grind my grains into flour as often as I can. The result is delicious.
I was so excited the first time I heard about these rye cookies because rye is such an underused grain. Other than for making sourdough bread, and this rye berry salad, I rarely use it. But these cookies are a delightful way to get better acquainted with this handsome grain.
These cookies taste nutty and buttery. The chew of the dried blueberries and the sweet crunch of the turbinado sugar on the outer edges is simply delightful. I added blueberries to my version because ’tis the season here in Maine. But dried blueberries work much better than fresh ones in cookies, and since I couldn’t find dried blueberries at my local store, I dried them myself in the oven. (One hour at 250 F). You should be easily able to purchase rye flour and dried blueberries at your local health food store, though you can always sub dried currants which are easier to find. Enjoy!
Rye Blueberry Cookies
Rye is known to make great bread, but these rye blueberry cookies recipe from food blogger Aube Giroux show a wonderful sweet side of the under appreciated grain. Watch Aube make this recipe in a fun video from Kitchen Vignettes.
Adapted from Whole Grains For A New Generation
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 cups rye flour
- 3/4 cup dried blueberries* (or dried currants)
- 3 tbsp. turbinado sugar (for rolling)
- Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg, salt, and blueberries and mix well.
- Gradually add the rye flour, mixing together until a rough ball can be assembled. Try not to overmix or handle the dough too much.
- On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to roll the dough into 2 logs, about 2 inches in diameter and wrap these in parchment paper. Refrigerate the logs for a least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the turbinado sugar onto a flat surface and carefully roll the chilled logs on top, pressing the sugar into the outer surface of the logs.
- Slice into 1/8 inch rounds and place 1 inch apart on a lightly buttered cookie sheet (you can also use a piece of parchment paper). Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden at the edges.
- Lift carefully with metal spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool. (They will be easier to handle once cooled).
Tips/TechniquesIf you want to use dried blueberries but can't find them at your local stores, simply use fresh or thawed-out wild (low bush) blueberries, and dehydrate them for about an hour in a 250 F oven, on a cookie tray covered in parchment paper. You could also use the larger high-bush blueberries, but they will take at least twice as long to dehydrate in the oven. The blueberries don't need to be completely dried but should have shrivelled in size somewhat.
Yield: Makes about 48 cookies
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.