Monday, June 6, 2011

I just found this awesome website.  It reports all you need to know about eating bark for survival. Only, while visiting I found this quote: "Grease the pan well and fry the bark slabs to a crispy golden brown".  Sounds less like a survivalist and more like a connoisseur, no?  

I'll bet said bark-enjoyers and termites alike would be quite fond of the cacao nib. These shelled and roasted cacao beans have a definite woodiness to their crunchy center. Imagine bark dipped in chocolate. At first pop into your mouth you're like, YUM!  Chocolatey! And then the flavor licks off and you chewchewchew a splintery-like nugget. They're supposedly wicked good for you though, rich in antioxidants and magnesium. They also are known to increase energy, improve mood and diminish appetite. (Wouldn't eating anything diminsh appetite?  Just saying.)  

A wicked oatmeal-cookie craving struck me the other day but alas, we had polished off any trace of chocolate around here. (Oatmeal cookies are dead to me without chocolate. Why bother?) Since we know how much I hate getting into the car, I had to become a survivalist myself. I got resourceful and found a lurking bag of cacao nibs that's been gathering dust since I finished the cleanse.

Well. They are kinda perfect in these cookies! They add to the rustic texture and heartiness and you get a hint of chocolate and crunch without any of the pesky bark after taste. Genius! These cookies are quite delicious with plain ol' dark chocolate as well. But if you're looking for something different and you want to diminish your appetite (see above), try the nibs.

Oatmeal/Raisin/Walnut/Cacao Nib Cookies
(inspired by Smitten Kitchen's Thick Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies)

1/2 cup (one stick) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cups rolled, old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup cacao nibs (or 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together until well mixed and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer for at least 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary, until just incorporated. Stir in the oats, walnuts and raisins, and then stir in the nibs (or chocolate chips) last. Refrigerate if you like them extra thick (this always sounds good in theory but I never have the will to wait). Drop by 2T blobs (via fingers or ice cream scoop) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending upon your oven, blob size and dough temperature going in) until golden brown on the edges and a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to racks for cooling.



  1. Sadly, these cookies didn't last very long. I'm looking forward to our next episode of Kah-KOW!

  2. I'm thinking of baking a batch of these for Lucy. And by Lucy I mean my famous, beach-walking dog. Check out my friend's blog if you want to see some photos.


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