I have been meaning to buy cacao nibs for quite some time. I read about them two years ago when I was trying to be vegan and raw foods were all the rage. I know a few people who are vegans and love it. I wouldn’t call my foray into veganism “successful.” Despite getting instructions from a nutritionist, unfortunately, I ended up with iron and vitamin D deficiencies. Needless to say I am now a reluctant meat eater. I really like the idea behind veganism and wished it worked for me, but it didn’t. So I try really hard to buy humane products whenever I can. I drive 40 minutes directly to the farm to buy my milk for goodness sake!
Any chance I get to hide whole grains into my foods I take it! So I loved that these cookies used buckwheat flour. I also wrote about buckwheat and its health benefits in Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes with Buckwheat Honey.
One of the best things about shortbread cookies is that they are dead simple. I didn’t even have to dig out my beater–I mixed up the entire recipe with a wooden spoon. Once baked and cooled, they come out crunchy and go great with a glass of milk.
Good quality butter, vanilla extract and coarsely ground salt are all musts. I used Himalayan Pink Salt for this recipe. You can buy a grinder at Trader Joe’s for a pretty reasonable price.
The texture of the cacao nibs goes great with the short bread. You get a chocolate taste with a crunch.
Buckwheat and Cacao Shortbread Cookies
(Adapted from Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies)
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) high-quality butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground salt, Himalayan Pink Salt works nicely
- 1/3 cup cacao nibs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- Combine flours together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, salt, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
- Work cacao nibs into the butter batter.
- Starting slowly, stir 1/3 flour mixture into the butter mixture. Continue adding in thirds until the flour is completely incorporated. Batter will be thick.
- Shape dough into a ball. Transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a long roll about 2-inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic.
- Refrigerate for at least 1.5 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once dough has become hard, use a sharp knife to make 1/4-inch slices.
- Arrange slices on parchment covered baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes until the edges are brown.
- Allow cookies to sit for 1-2 minutes on sheet.
- Place on cooling rack until cookies have cooled and hardened.
Enjoy with a glass of milk! Living near Bucks County, I am lucky enough to enjoy Certified Raw Jersey Cow Milk from Birchwood Farms in Newtown, PA.