I'm getting together with some friends a bit later and needed to make something chocolate-y so I decided to try a new cookie. Made with chocolate, pecan and cocoa beans then dipped in chocolate, these cookies are light and have the perfect subtle flavors of chocolate, toffee, coffee and vanilla. Not too sweet but just the right balance.
Cocoa beans, also known as cacao nibs, are the roasted, shelled cacao beans broken down into bite-sized pieces. They are the raw material from which all chocolate is made. They have a nutty, coffee-like flavor and are very crunchy.
Cocoa Bean-Pecan Cookies
Adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
Makes about 48 2" Cookies
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa nibs/beans
1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk or dark chocolate, chopped and melted
Preheat oven to 325. Spread pecans on cookie sheet. Toast in oven for 7-8 minutes until fragrant and lightly colored. Let cool, then finely chop in food processor.
Combine the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in medium bowl and beat until smooth and creamy but not fluffy. Stir in the pecans, cocoa nibs and chopped chocolate. Add the flour all at once and beat on low speed just until the flour is fully incorporated.
Divide dough in half and form into two flat circles. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.)
Preheat oven to 350. Remove one circle from refrigerator and let sit until soft enough to roll but still firm. Roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper to 1/4" thickness. Using 2" cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Re roll dough and cut out more cookies.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown at the edges. Let cool completely on wire rack.
Dip half the cookie into the melted chocolate. Place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper to harden.
For best flavor and texture, store cookies in an airtight container for at least 24 hours before serving.