I am on a quest. A quest to find the essence of chocolate.
I know I’m not going to find it anywhere else than pure, unadulterated unsweetened chocolate.
I need two elements; melted unsweetened chocolate and cacao nibs. In case you’re wondering, cacao nibs are the actual cocoa bean dried and chopped up small. I have seen them popping up in recipes across the blogosphere (isn’t that an awesome word?) recently, and I was intrigued. These little nuggets of pure cocoa-ness add a pleasant crunch, and a true essence of chocolate which the sea salt complements, but doesn’t distract from. Finally, the added jolt of semi-sweetness directly in the batter provides a relief from the unsweetened intensity. If you prefer, you can chop up unsweetened chocolate instead.
Hopefully the next stop on the journey for the essence of chocolate will involve more cacao nibs 🙂
Disclaimer: these cookies are not for the faint or heart. Or stomach. You have been warned.
Essence Of Chocolate Cookies
3 oz. (85 g.) good quality unsweetened chocolate
6 oz. (170g.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided)
¼ c. (53 g.) coconut oil
⅓ c. (43 g.) all-purpose flour
¼ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1⅓ c. (267g.) sugar
1½ t. instant espresso powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 c. cacao nibs
- Finely chop the unsweetened chocolate and 3 oz. (85 g) semisweet chocolate and melt with the coconut oil using a double-boiler method or the microwave. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, sprinkle the instant espresso powder over the eggs and let sit to dissolve. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium high for about 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy and the batter drops off the beaters in a thick ribbon. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the cooled melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining semi-sweet chocolate and cacao nibs.
- Cover and chill until firm, about 1 hour. (Or chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.)
Preheat oven to 350° F. On lined or greased cookie sheets, drop 1 to 1½-inch balls of dough, leaving about 2 inches between each ball. Sprinkle the dough balls with salt.
- Bake the sheets one at a time for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating once half-way through baking.
- The centers should still be soft when you remove the pans from the oven. Let the cookies cool briefly before enjoying hot, or store in air tight containers for about two days.
YIELD: about 21 cookies