I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Cacao Nibs Butter Cookies

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Courtesy of Anne Baldzikowski, Easy Artisan: Simple elegant Recipes for the Everyday Cook

Cacao nibs are broken pieces of the raw cacao bean from which chocolate is made. Toast the nibs like nuts to bring out their flavor. My culinary students give these cookies as thank you gifts when we go on our class field trips.

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Cacao Nibs Butter Cookies

Ingredients

Scale

8 ounce butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2 ounces cacao nibs, toasted in a 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 510 minutes

½ teaspoon espresso powder

Garnish

¼ cup turbinado or granulated sugar

Instructions

Using a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), mix butter and sugar on medium-high until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine egg and vanilla.

Pour into butter mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and beat again 1 minute.

Sift flour onto parchment paper and mix chocolate, nibs, and espresso powder into flour.

In 3 installments add the flour/chocolate mixture to the butter mixture. Stopping the mixer each time when adding the flour. Mix just until the dough comes together. Be careful not to over mix or your cookies will have a tough rather than delicate texture.

Remove dough from the bowl and divide in half, about 14 ounces each. Roll each piece into an 11-by-1 ½ -by -1-inch rectangle using parchment and a ruler to help guide you and keep the dough in a rectangle shape. Unwrap dough from parchment paper and sprinkle sugar all over the paper. Roll the dough into a log shape in the sugared paper so that some sugar adheres to all of the cookie dough.

Wrap up the cookie dough in parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Slice cookies into ¼-inch slices. Bake at 350 12-15 minutes or until tops are barely golden and bottoms of cookies are golden brown.

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