Chocolate Shortbread With Cacao Nibs and Sea Salt 36.000

Julia Ewan

Holiday Cookies 2007 Dec 12, 2007

This is a grown-up's cookie: not too sweet, and dusky with crunchy bits of cacao nibs.

STORE: In an airtight container for up to 1 week. The dough can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

Servings: 36 small cookies
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons cacao nibs (may crush with a rolling pin, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon fine or coarse sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Combine the flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Combine the nibs and sea salt in a separate small bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low; add about 1/2 of the flour-cocoa mixture and mix well, then add the remaining flour-cocoa mixture, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the motor and fold in the nibs-salt mixture by hand until well distributed. The dough will be sandy and fairly stiff.

Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin, or flatten the dough and place it between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap; roll the dough into a square 1/4 inch thick. Using a knife or a cookie cutter, cut into 1-by-2 1/2-inch rectangles or other desired shape, and place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back; bake for 8 minutes or until their aroma is apparent and the cookie bottoms are crisp. Let them cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Recipe Source

From the Los Angeles Daily News Web site; adapted from "The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking With Fine Chocolate," by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg (Hyperion, 2006).

Tested by Jane Touzalin and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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