I’ve discovered cacao nib cookies while traveling in Costa Rica about a month ago. They were so tasty, so they became my homework when I got home. Here are two variations of my golden cacao nib cookies: one with winter spice and pecan nuts and one with orange. Both easy to make, both delicious!
I’m dreaming of a tropical Christmas
Christmas took my by storm this year. I landed back in the UK the first week of December, after having spent almost four weeks in California and Costa Rica. Yes, they were also getting ready for Christmas there, but that kind of confused me even more. In places where Christmas trees do not grow, where snow does not fall, why do people decorate everything with sparkly snowflakes and where the hell are they even getting their trees from? I mean, I felt so confused!
Oh, dear time, if only I had more of you!
So I landed back in the UK – 0ºC, the park in front of my building covered in frost and realized that I either take a deep dive into Christmas or I’ll be dreaming of tropical beaches and replace mulled wine with Margaritas. Since I’ve returned, my life has been more hectic than ever! I had to readjust to my daily work routine, and a week after I returned I also had to travel down to London for our company’s monthly meeting. And as I couldn’t have gone there empty handed, I decided to make some cacao nib cookies, package them nicely and give them to everyone. That was about three weeks ago. I planned on writing down the recipe and posting it on the blog, so that I won’t lose the festive pre-Christmas momentum.
Christmas presents here, and there, everywhere
None of that happened, as you can imagine. I ran out of time even more. I’m not even quite sure how I managed everything before the holiday started. It was my first Christmas away from home and my family, so I had to surprise everyone back in Romania with a ton of gifts. And because materialistic gifts are never enough, I embarked upon a craze of homemade gifts, from polymer clay decorations that I hand-painted for hours to more homemade cookies that I packaged separately for every single member of my family. Basically, I’ve so far spent two entire days baking these cookies, once for my colleagues, once for my family.
Dear readers, I know I’m late with these recipes, so please forgive me and give them a try! I promise they’ll still be as delicious as they would have been fore Christmas. Plus, the winter celebrations are not over yet, so you’ve still got a bit of time before the new year! 🙂
- 250g butter
- 3 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of pecans, ground
- 2/3 cup of raw cacao nibs, slightly roasted in a pan (do not grind them!)
- 3/4 cup of muscovado sugar
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of milk
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp pecan nuts, crushed
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tbsp orange peel
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp orange essence
- Start by mixing all the ingredients together, by hand.
- Now choose your variation – winter spice and pecan nuts or orange peel? After you’ve make your choice, add the remaining ingredients from that variation. Mix well, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 160ºC.
- Roll out your dough and using cookie cutters, prepare the cookies. They should be about half a centimetre thick.
- Place them on baking sheets and bake for approx. 8 minutes. The time you need may depend on your oven, but you will know that the cookies are done when they become slightly darker around the edges. Don’t worry if they’re still a bit soft – they will harden as they cool.