Cacao Nibs Cookies

by | Cookies

Cacao Nibs Cookies, made with pure unsweetened cacao nibs or chips, in a butter shortbread cookie, for real chocolate lovers!

Cacao Nibs Cookies
Cacao Nibs Cookies

Cacao Nibs Cookies

Who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie, or any cookie, for that matter! Adults and kids alike, and always with a swig of milk, no matter what kind of milk you drink. Milk and cookies are simply ‘a thing’!

Chocolate chips, the kind we often buy however, are loaded with sugar! Instead of overloading a cookie with more sugar than a sweet treat needs to be, I wanted to make a chocolate chip cookie that was buttery rich, but real cacao.

Just enough sugar to make it sweet, but I wanted chocolate chips that taste as close to real chocolate as possible.

Cacao nibs, or chips as they are also called, was exactly what I was looking for. 

What Are Cacao Nibs?

Cacao nibs, or cocoa nibs, are bits of dried cacao beans from the cacao tree, part of the bean used in the making of chocolate, as we know it.

The flavor of the powdered or crushed cacao bean is bitter, earthy and robust in flavor, much as cinnamon is bitter, earthy and a bit of heat on the tongue after tasting.

Both require sugar to soften their bitterness, add that element of sweet and brighten the flavor. But, let’s not overdo it with the sugar!

Cacao Nibs
Cacao Nibs

Cacao Chocolate For Health

When we hear that chocolate is good for our health, it is not that sugary ole chocolate candy bar we all grew up with.

It’s the ground bean, dark, unsweetened, unrefined cacao/chocolate that has the health benefits. In fact, the high content of antioxidants, natural minerals and heart healthy flavonoids makes it an ingredient to seriously consider adding to many of your recipes, savory recipes included. 

How To Use Unsweetened Cacao

Most dessert recipes require something sweet, obviously, to make them the sweet treats we desire.

Where that sweetness comes from should be left up to you: honey, raw sugar, agave, monk fruit sweetener, stevia, molasses and a variety of other sweet ingredients you could choose from.

So, why buy chocolate chips that are over-processed and loaded with sugar? 

In my Cacao nibs, chocolate chip cookie recipe, I use raw sugar in the cookie dough, but added the rich dark flavor of unsweetened cacao nibs to the batter.

If you are not able to find cacao nibs, simply add a heaping tablespoon of raw cacao powder to the dough. Dark, rich, earthy, chocolate flavor either way. 

What’s Not To Love About Real Cacao Nibs Cookies

If you’re in a hurry to bake these chocolate chip cookies, you can simply place a dollop of the cookie dough onto a baking sheet and bake, once the dough is mixed.

If you’re looking for a nicely shaped round cookie, simply roll the dough into a log shape inside of parchment paper, chill, slice and bake. Totally up to you!

Mix, Chill, Cut, Bake!
Mix, Chill, Cut, Bake!

Savory Cacao Nibs Recipes

Have you ever had a Mole sauce over a Mexican meat dish? The flavor pings off of many areas of the taste buds!

It’s hot, it’s spicy, dark, earthy, somewhat chocolate in flavor and even a ring of sweetness. Cacao nibs, or simply raw cacao, is the perfect ingredient to add to a slow simmered meat sauce abundant in dried chiles, a little wine, and served over a favorite meat.

If you’ve never experimented with cacao in a savory dish and want to try something a bit milder first, Chocolate Chili Pasta is definitely the way to start.

But for today… let’s make cookies!

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter
  • Raw sugar
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Unsweetened Cacao Chips

Equipment Needed

  • Standup Mixer, Hand mixer or Food processor
  • Oven
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet pan
Cacao Nibs Cookies

Cacao Nibs Cookies

Cacao Nibs Cookies, made with pure unsweetened cacao nibs or chips, in a butter shortbread cookie.
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Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 Dozen
Calories: 300kcal


  • Butter – 16 oz. (2 sticks), softened
  • Raw sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Flour – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon (optional, see notes)
  • Unsweetened Cacao Chips/Nibs – 1/2 cup


  • Place the softened butter in a large bowl. With a hand mixer, or a large fork, whisk in the sugar until it looks light in color.
  • Whisk in the egg until well incorporated.
  • Slowly whisk in the flour and salt, if using. Gently fold in the cacao chips.
  • On a large piece of parchment paper, transfer the batter to the paper and form a long log and roll the dough in the parchment paper and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the cookie dough into quarter-inch thick rounds and place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.


  • Desserts and  butter; if it’s salted butter I don’t add salt, if it’s not salted, then I add. When making desserts, salt makes sweet, sweeter, so a little pinch of salt goes a long way in bringing out the sweet flavors of desserts. 
  • Nutrition

    Calories: 300kcal
    Cacao Nibs Cookies
    Cacao Nibs Cookies

    My Muffin Madness


    In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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