Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chocolate and cacao nib cookies

Are you a disciplined shopper or more of an impulse buyer?  I'd like to think that I'm pretty disciplined, but sometimes I can't help myself. We were browsing one of my favorite stores, For the Love of Chocolate, when I came across a can of chocolate covered cacao nibs.  And it was on sale.  I totally had to have it.  But of course, I had no idea what to do with it.

I researched some recipes online and found these chocolate and cacao nib cookies on Chocolate & Zucchini. The cookies were barely sweet but had an intense cocoa flavor. The crunchy cacao nibs provided a nice textural contrast to the soft, cake-like cookies. And the addition of sea salt helped bring out the deep cocoa flavor in the cookies. Ode to the sweet and salty combo!

I still have a bunch of chocolate covered cacao nibs left over and have an idea of how to use it up, but I'm open to some suggestions. Other than eating it plain, how else would you feature this ingredient?

Chocolate and cacao nib cookies
  • 4 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 stick (8 TBSP) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (can substitute with 1/4 teaspoon regular salt)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) cacao nibs (I used chocolate covered cacao nibs)
Directions

In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt together 3 oz of the bittersweet chocolate and the butter. Once melted, transfer into a large bowl and allow to cool for ten minutes.

In a separate medium or large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside. Finely chop the reserved (1 oz) of bittersweet chocolate and set aside.

Gradually whisk the eggs into the cooled melted chocolate mixture. Add the sugar and mix until well incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined - the batter will be thick. Gently fold in the chopped chocolate, cacao nibs and fleur de sel (or regular salt if you are using that instead).

Preheat your oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.

Using spoons or cookie scoop, portion out rounded teaspoons of batter. Using your hands, shape them into balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Make sure you leave at least a one-inch space between them.

Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for ten minutes. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or  until the tops feel just dry to the touch. Do not overbake.

Yield: I used a medium cookie scoop and got about 16 cookies

Source: Chocolate & Zucchini

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