I have 2 bags of organic cocoa nibs I purchased a couple of months ago from Capers. The recipe I'll be using is adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet...one of my favourite books. She calls for adding bourbon, but I chose almond extract...because I don't have bourbon.
In fact, bourbon sounds yummy. I've got to buy some. In fact I need to make a run to the liquor store soon because I'm out of vodka--having used up the last cup to preserve my recently purchased vanilla pods. I used the vanilla seeds for creme caramel (yum!) and dumped the empty pods in the vodka. I'm going to have vanilla extract in about a year, I think. It's already smelling nicely vanilla-like.
By the way, I purchased a whole whack of beautiful vanilla beans online. It's cheap...even with the additional $20 I had to pay for duties on top of the cost of shipping. I'm happy. I had Stomach figure out the per pod cost and I still come out ahead. It beats buying dried out pods from Safeway! I bought my vanilla beans from saffron.com and I am satisfied with my purchase. I purchased one half pound of Vanilla Tahitensis and a half pound bag of Vanilla Planifolia. The one bag I opened has 60 pods in it in a vacuum-sealed bag. They're very nice. I love fresh vanilla pods. I now have vanilla sugar (you store the pods in sugar) and the beginnings of extract (from the used up pods in vodka) on top of the scrumptious fragrant seeds to use. I plan to employ them in my Christmas baking this year.
I digress. Here's the recipe for the cocoa nib cookies. It'll be a perfect addition to a Christmas Cookie Box.
COCOA NIB & PECAN COOKIES
1 cup (3.5 oz) organic pecan halves, toasted & chopped
1/2 pound (2 sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 t pink himalayan salt (slightly rounded)
1 t almond extract
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic cocoa nibs
2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
- Combine butter, sugar, salt, almond extract and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy but not fluffy (1 minute). Beat in pecans and cocoa nibs. Turn off mixer and add all the flour at once. Beat on low speed until flour is incorporated.
- Form dough into 12-inch log about 2 inches thick. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. (can be frozen 3 months)
- Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the cold dough log into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place cookies at least 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden brown at the edges, rotating the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking. Let cookies firm up on the pans for about 1 minute before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container for at least 24 hours for best flavour before serving.
- can be stored in airtight container for at least 1 month