Vegan Baking and Sweets/ Vegan Cookies and Bars/ Vegan Recipes

Crunchy Almond Cacao Nib Cookies

Cacao Nib Cookies

These cookies are truly guilt free. They’re refined sugar-free, dairy free, and filled with nutritional ingredients. They are very light and the cacao nibs offer the perfect crunchy texture. If you are unfamiliar with cacao nibs, they are nature’s chocolate chips. Cacao nibs are literally cacao beans that have been roasted and separated from their husks, then peeled and crumbled.

They may look sweet, but aren’t. They’re pure, bitter cacao, and offer a great crunch to baked goods. Cacao nibs are also very nutritional. Did you know they have a higher antioxidant level than blueberries? And, they’re one of the best sources of magnesium. Cacao nibs offer a great, natural way to include this important mineral in your diet, while satisfying those chocolate cravings.  Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis, from Love and Lentils

Makes about 16

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (soften if very hard)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, almonds, coconut, and cacao nibs. Add dry ingredients to wet.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheet about 1 to 2 inches apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Let stand for a minute or two, then cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea and store the rest of the cookies in an air tight container for up to a week.

Cacao Nib Cookies 2

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Roberta
    March 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    So many gf recipes call for almond flour. I am allergic to almonds. Does anyone know of a good substitute?

    • Reply
      Nava
      March 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Roberta, you can go with a regular flour; light spelt is a good one. Also, coconut flour is a good sub for almond flour, if you’re not allergic to it. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Holly
    March 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Nava, these are spectacular! I had never tried cacao nibs, so this looked like a good first attempt…and wow! I have an 18 year old son who’s immediately skeptical of anything that’s even remotely billed as “healthy” and he was crazy for them. I’m going to need to make more, and quickly! Thanks for a great recipe! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nava
    March 30, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks, Holly — these really are fabulous, but credit where due. The recipe was contributed by Sophia Zergiotis, from her Love and Lentils blog — see link in the headnote, just before where the ingredients begin.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    December 3, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Hi, I really want to make these, what can I use instead of unsweetened coconut? or do you need to use it? thanks Teresa

    • Reply
      Nava
      December 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Hi Teresa, I can’t say with total authority that these would work without the coconut, as that seems to be a fairly important part of the mix. However, it may not hurt to omit it and just substitute an additional 1/3 cup almond flour (using less since it’s less dense than the shredded coconut). Good luck!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    December 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Thanks Nava! I went out to buy some coconut! Will try these today ;o)

  • Reply
    Julie
    December 29, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Can’t wait to try these! Do you have a favorite brand for cacao nibs? Thanks Nava!

    • Reply
      Nava
      December 29, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Julie — not really, I think most brands are pretty similar. I like to support fair trade cacao and chocolate products. I hope you enjoy these; the recipe was contributed by Sophia Zergiotis.

  • Reply
    shannon
    January 8, 2015 at 2:13 am

    I made these without the nibs and just substituted cacao powder because that’s what I had! I used a little bit less flour because I was using the cacao powder. And they are really tasty! Mine didn’t bind very well though they fall apart all crumbly as I try to catch all the crumbs with my the hand not holding my cookie! Fun but crumbly. Next time I’ll try adding flax “eggs” to kelp them together. But overall very very tasty!

  • Reply
    Faye
    March 17, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Made some subs:
    Self-raising flour instead of almond
    Sunflower seeds instead of chopped almonds
    1/4 cup raw sugar instead of maple syrup

    Dough would not combine, just looked like muesli; added an egg, then another.
    Raised well in oven but tastes like scones/American tea biscuits. You couldn’t have it WITHOUT a cup of tea!

  • Reply
    MAScott
    April 4, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I made these oil-free by substituting raw/creamy almond butter for the coconut oil. They were amazing. Thank you for this great recipe!

    • Reply
      Nava
      April 5, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      So glad you enjoyed these!

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