i bought cocoa nibs for the first time the other day and i learned two things from this experience: first, don’t impulse buy when you’re standing on the checkout line at whole foods. they were ridiculously expensive. second, cocoa nibs are awesome. the way it works is, cocoa beans are harvested and then roasted and broken up into little pieces. those pieces are cocoa nibs. generally, the nibs are then ground into a fine powder, and that’s what cocoa powder is. but the nibs are actually totally usable on their own! they’re kind of bitter and have an almost coffee-like flavor, but with a distinct chocolatey aftertaste. they are great for snacking on, adding to granola, or sprinkling on ice cream. but naturally, i wanted to bake something to really highlight them.
these biscotti were crunchy, dense, and begging to be dunked in coffee. the flavors of the hazelnut, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs all worked together beautifully to create a product that could work equally well as an elegant treat or as a rustic snack. and the cocoa nibs gave them a really lovely chocolate flavor without making them overwhelmingly sweet. overall, these are exactly what i look for in biscotti, and then some.
thick, crunchy biscotti with the elegant flavor of cocoa nibs, just waiting to be dunked in coffee.
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
- ½ cup cocoa nibs
- preheat the oven to 350ºf and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until the mixture is thick and smooth. with the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour and mix until it is all just combined. add the hazelnuts and cocoa nibs and beat on low speed until everything is evenly distributed.
- turn the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a log. you can make it however wide you want your biscotti to be. bake the log for about 20 minutes, until it is firm but not brown. take it out of the oven and let it cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
- lower the oven temperature to 325ºf.
- with a sharp knife, cut the log into slices about ¾-inch thick. arrange the slices on the baking sheet cut side up, and put them back in the oven for 25 minutes. take the biscotti out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.