Monday, August 27, 2012

Candied Cacao Nib Cookies

Want something a little nuttier than your typical chocolate chip cookie? Try these on for size! They're chewy, sweet, and a little crunchy.

About a month ago I bought a bag of cacao nibs, but then didn't really know what to do with them. The nibs have a fairly bitter, not-so-sweet flavor, so just throwing them into cookies as is wasn't the taste I was looking for. Instead, I candied them first. And discovered a yummy treat along the way.

Candied cacao nibs
 Candied Cacao Nibs
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter/margarine/Earth Balance
Place the cacao nibs and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until the sugar completely dissolves; this may take about 10 minutes or so. One fully dissolved, add in the butter and mix until coated. Pour the candied nibs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and allow to cool to room temp. Store in a plastic baggie or air-tight container once completely cooled, or use in the cookies below!

I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar for these, but made the following changes:
  • I reduced the oil from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup and added about 1/4 large banana 
  • I reduced the chocolate chips from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup
  • I added 1/4 cup chopped cherries (I love a good chocolate/cherry combo!)
  • I used about 1/2 of the cacao nibs from above, placing on top of the cookies once dropped on the cookie sheet
The cacao nibs definitely add a nutty flavor to the cookies, and even candied they do have a little bit of a bitter taste, almost reminiscent of espresso actually- so they may not be for everyone. But the crunchy, semi-sweet candied cacao nibs make for a nice change to your typical cookie! Or, snack on the candied cacao nibs for a different treat!


  1. This is so neat, I never thought to candy cacao nibs - brilliant!

    1. As mentioned, it might be dangerous ;-) I also think the candied nibs would go well with some almonds and dried cherries or cranberries for a different kind of trail mix snack!

  2. I agree that cacao nibs can be a bit too bitter to eat on their own, and aren't exactly a substitute for chocolate chips. I mostly use mine in raw energy balls or in smoothies. I love this idea though to sweeten them up a bit for a treat!

    1. I need to try them in energy balls! How are they in smoothies? I always thought the crunch would be weird.... or do they blend in your blender?

    2. I usually add them at the end and just blend up them up partially, so the pieces aren't as big. And sometimes I'll add a sprinkle on top too if it's a really thick smoothie. I love the bit of crunch they add!

    3. Ah ok- I'll have to try that- thanks!


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