It seems I go for a while without chocolate then BAM, it happens, all I want is chocolate. The question is how do I get my chocolate fix – cake, pie or cookies? They all sound good but this recipe for Cacao Nib and Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies has been on my mind for a while. Since it is so quick to make I will be having chocolate in no time.
Cacao nibs make a great addition to recipes and are delicious to snack on. They offer a unique chocolate flavor and add a bit of a crunch. Are you asking what exactly is a cacao nib? Good news! I looked it up for you.
- Cacao nibs are raw chocolate; they are the roasted cacao beans that are hulled and broken into pieces.
- Depending on how the beans are roasted, the cocoa nibs can have a fruity, nutty or coffee flavor.
- Cacao nibs have no fat or sugar in them and are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
- They are a great snacking option.
Rich, crunchy and chocolaty cacao nibs
I happened to have two different brands of cacao nibs and the sizes are different. For this recipe, I am going with the smaller pieces to make cutting through the cookie dough easier. You can definitely use the bigger pieces just make them smaller by crushing them with a rolling pin or whatever heavy crushing object you keep in your kitchen.
Putting the cacao nibs in a rich buttery shortbread cookie is only going to make these cookies better, but adding sea salt for that sweet-salty taste will result in outrageously good cookies that will satisfy that chocolate craving.
Let’s bake together ~
The most important part of this recipe is having your butter softened, and that just isn’t hard. Mix all your ingredients and roll the dough in a 6″ to 7″ log that is 2″ wide. If you like rolling dough and making cutouts that works too. These cookies are definitely on the rustic side.
After you cut your rounds bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees and that’s it. These shortbread cookies couldn’t be any easier than a quick mix and bake and this is the outcome – an intense chocolate cookie.
Do you have that intense chocolate craving now too? These cookies pack so much flavor from the cacao nibs and the cocoa powder. Adding the sea salt just intensifies all that chocolate. Every bite offers a sweet little crunch.
Cacao Nib and Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup AP flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt - how salty do you want your cookies
- 6 oz or 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325. degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
In a small bowl combine the flour and cocoa powder. In another bowl combine the nibs and sea salt.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add in the vanilla.
Beat in half of the flour and cocoa powder mixture on low speed. Add the remaining flour-cocoa mixture, stopping as necessary to scrape. Continue to mix for 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed.
Mix in the nibs and salt. (The dough can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.)
Turn out the dough on to wax paper or parchment and roll the dough into a 2" round log about 6" long.
Cut into 1/4" rounds and place on cookie sheets 1" apart.
Bake for 15 minutes,
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack then store in an airtight container for 1 week.
Normally I go for some mid-afternoon tea, but today coffee seems to go so well with these shortbreads. Actually, I think a good glass of a fruity port will pair nicely as well. Just a thought!
Cacao Nib and Sea Salt Short Bread Cookies
Need more cacao nib inspiration, here’s another cookie recipe for you.
Remember, cookies are for sharing!