Need an easy make-ahead holiday cookie recipe for Christmas? These cocoa nib buckwheat cookies are a slice-and-bake cookie that stores well baked, but you can also make head the cookie dough, shape it into a log, and freeze it for later.
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If you have never baked with cocoa nibs, I urge you to make these simple shortbread cookies. This slice-and-bake shortbread recipe is easy to make so you can throw it together in minutes. The ingredients in this cookie are quite simple and there are just a few ingredients on the list so it's the perfect backdrop to start exploring the flavour of cocoa nibs and the texture they impart.
Baking with cocoa nibs (aka cacao nibs)
Because cocoa nibs do not melt, cocoa nibs add a crunchy textural element to baking recipes. Cocoa nibs (also written cacao nibs) are chopped bits of cocoa bean, so they add a deeply chocolaty flavour without adding any extra sugar to baked goods so they are one of the different types of chocolates for baking. So what can you bake with cocoa nibs? Cocoa nibs make a great addition to cookie recipes: add cocoa nibs to plain shortbread or sugar cookies, and cocoa nibs would also make a great addition to vanilla sablé cookie recipes, chocolate sablé cookies, and even slice-and-bake fruitcake cookies where cocoa nibs could add some crunch and chocolate flavour without adding to the sweetness of the cookie, which already has candied fruit. I think cocoa nibs would work really well in sweet tart crusts too like this coffee sugar cookie crust or even in chewy brownies!
Slice-and-bake cookies for the win!
The beauty of this shortbread cookie recipe is that it requires only 4 basic ingredients plus, salt, vanilla, and cocoa nibs, and it's very easy to make the cookie dough. These slice-and-bake shortbread cookies with cocoa nibs are the cookies you want in your life. This is the best way to make a lot of shortbread cookies fast (once the dough is chilled), and a different way to prepare shortbread than the traditional shortbread cookies that are pressed into a pan and scored before baking. You can make the cookie dough ahead and store it in the fridge for a few days. I bet it would freeze well too. Just be sure to defrost the logs of cookie dough in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours before slicing and baking. These cookies would be a hit on a Christmas cookie platter too. Because these shortbread cookies are what I call a "dry cookie", they store very well once baked, which means you can bake these ahead of time and store in a sealed, air-tight container in a cool, dry place without worrying.
Nibby buckwheat butter cookies recipe
These buckwheat cocoa nib cookies are made with a lot of butter giving them a delightful buttery flavour and the perfect shortbread texture. These cookies aren't overly sweet either. This recipe comes from Alice Medrich and was featured in the Food52 Genius Desserts cookbook by Kristen Miglore, which I highly recommend! I reviewed the Food 52 Genius desserts on the blog before and you can still buy it on Amazon.
Buckwheat cocoa nib shortbread cookies
- Whisk together the flours in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium until smooth and creamy but not fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in cocoa nibs and vanilla. Add the flours and mix until no steaks of flour remain. Scrape the dough together onto a work surface lined with plastic wrap, knead a few times to mix until smooth.
- Roll the dough into a 12 by 2-inch (30 by 5cm) log. Bundle the log in the plastic wrap, twisting the ends tightly to help even out the shape, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. To help maintain its round shape, refrigerate the log in an empty paper towel roll or tall drinking glass.
- Heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC), with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (I like the Nordic Ware sheets on Amazon).
- Using a sharp knife, slice the log into ¼-inch (6 mm) rounds. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, spacing and staggering them.
- Bake the cookies until they are beginning to turn brown at the edges, about 14 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom, back to front, halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets on a rack. The cookies improve with time and can be stored in an airtight container for at least 1 month.
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