Cooking

Rye Not

Rye flour invades the bakery

We've heard the tired refrain "white or wheat?" too many times to count.

But having sampled a new batch of superior rye-flour baked goods, we think we've found a counter offer.

Northern Rye in Brooklyn remakes Scandinavian standards such as thin-crusted, rice-filled karelian pies. Although the pies are signature, we couldn't stop snacking on their barely sweet, nutty rye shortbread ($5 for a box of seven). Rye flour gives the confection an unusual bite and complexity.

The cookies at Black and Blanco further cemented our new alternative. When Steve Blanco was searching for a way to make a healthier version of his mother's Moroccan ghoriba cookies, he swapped New York rye flour and coconut oil for wheat flour and butter to create his own twist on the sable-like cookie. Of the three flavors ($6 a box; click here to buy), the marzipan is our top contender; it's just slightly sweet and has an intense almond flavor.

When a chocolate craving strikes, we eschew candy bars for a slice of chocolate rye bark from Anna's Daughters' Rye Bread ($6 for a small bag, $14 for a large; click here to buy). A coating of bittersweet chocolate perfectly tempers the slight tang of thinly sliced toasted rye bread, making it an incomparable afternoon snack.

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