I get those urges (you know, those that hit you straight "WHAM BAM" that you MUST lay your hands on XXX or else you'll be, I don't know, super sad or something. Haha.) constantly whenever I read about something interesting. It's good if I can find it in Singapore, I'll be like, HOHO! That is definitely going into my grocery bag! Just like how when I saw the bag of cocoa nibs, I felt like I was in heaven.
Cocoa nibs almond cookies
I knew straight away what I was gonna be doing with those precious bits of treasure. According to information on the Internet, cocoa nibs are actually perfectly roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small chunks. These nibs are crunchy, and have a subtle chocolate flavor, without the added sweetness often found in chocolate chips. In my bookmarks, there was a recipe for cookies that totally yelled out my name. I can't let that poor voice go hoarse in vain, so of course I went straight to the kitchen to make them. (:
I opened the small bag of brown jewels, placed a small piece on my tongue and savoured it before I actually started baking. As mentioned above, the taste was chocolate in its purest form, without a trace of sweetness, it was almost like dark chocolate, bittersweet, yet not sweet. It had a slight crunch texture when I shifted the tiny morsel to bite into it. Mmmmmmm. Give me a moment please, to enjoy the cocoa nib.
The resulting cookies were very very almond-y, as it consist of ground almonds and almond extract. As I was using almond meal instead of whole almonds as mentioned in the recipe, I wasn't sure of the conversion quantity and just roughly estimated a cup of almond meal and proceeded with the preparations, praying hard all the while that the results won't go wrong on me. I think these would be better if there were less sugar, and also, the almond flavour wasn't so strong. But really, it's a matter of preference, cos my aunt loved them and asked for the recipe to try it out for herself. If I make these again, I might omit the almond extract, or just add a few drops, and reduce the sugar proportions. I don't mind making these again cos they were a tad different from normal chocolate chip cookies, cos it uses almond flour and cocoa nibs, and they were really really crunchy. I totally love crunchy cookies. Crunchy vs chewy? Crunchy wins hands down pat.
Now, if only I can get my hands on the elusive Meyer lemons. I've read so much about them that I'm dying to get some to see if it is as good as everyone praises them to be. I WANT MEYER LEMONS. Where can I get them in Singapore??? My girlfriend says she's seen them at Giant and Cold Storage before, but I've never seen them! :( If anyone sees them, please get them for me pretty please? ;)\
Cocoa Nibs Almond Cookies
1 cup almond flour
110g + 2 T all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter, cubed
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
Combine almond flour, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until fine.
Add the butter and pulse until the dough looks crumbly.
Combine water, vanilla, and almond extract, add to the bowl, pulsing until just damp.
Add the cocoa nibs and pulse until evenly distributed.
Press the dough into a 6" x 9" rectangle that's 1/2" thick, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Slice the dough into sticks, and place them on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden brown at the edges.
Remove and cool, before storing in air tight container.