Friday, November 25, 2011

Cocoa nib brownies (Modern Baker Challenge)

When I gave my copy of The Modern Baker to my hubby so he could choose my "official" blogging cookie for the cookie section of the Challenge, he immediately picked cocoa nib brownies. I didn't commit, though, because I had no idea where to get cocoa nibs.

One of the best parts of being a part of this blogging community, besides having other people who love to talk about food as much as me, is getting advice and ideas. Melanie mentioned that she saw cocoa nibs at Whole Foods, and even though we live in different parts of the country, I checked and sure enough, they had them! Lucky hubby. :)

The brownies are made with a similar method to the truffle brownies and Florida brownies from Bake!, both of which are now family favorites. The butter is melted until it sizzles, and then the chocolate is added and allowed to melt. Meanwhile, the brown sugar is mixed with the eggs, and then salt, sugar, and vanilla are added. The chocolate-butter mixture is stirred in with a spatula, and then the flour is folded in. Finally half of the cocoa nibs are added to the batter and the rest of them are sprinkled over the top.

As with the other brownie recipes, NM says to refrigerate them overnight before cutting them. He also warns that it may be hard to pull the foil off the brownies because they're so moist; he's not wrong about that! Of course, when little pieces broke off, we just had to sample them, even though they hadn't been cooled overnight. These are so good! NM says, "Nibs are unsweetened, so they have to be used somewhat sparingly to avoid imparting a bitter...flavor. They're the perfect counterpoint to this fudgy brownie recipe, adding a little texture and a bit of balance to the batter's natural sweetness." I couldn't agree more!

Because they're so rich, I cut them into little 1" squares. I brought some to school to share with some of my debaters who helped to give a grant presentation the other day. Hubby brought some in to share with his coworkers; when he turned around, the container was empty. I had a little container leftover, saved for my photos, and asked hubby for permission to bring them to share with my should've seen the look I got! He was not going to give any more away! :) By the way, these are great alone, but even more excellent with a little scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.


  1. Sounds like my guys are going to love these! They look so nice on that plate...I always think that plate is so festive and looks like a party all by itself...the brownies just take it to the next level. Thanks for info on where to get the nibs.

  2. Oh, boy these do look fudgy. Can't wait to try them!! Sounds like these will be made again? I know my hubby will never wait until the next day to dig in to these. He ALWAYS manages to talk me into trying them the day baked no matter what the recipe states.

  3. Abby, you're so persuasive and I'm so suggestible that my copy of NM's Bake is now on its way.. :)

    We love cacao nibs, and have a big bag of them in the pantry, so thank you for the ideas!

  4. Thanks for the tip on where to find nibs! I'd have had no idea either. The fact you're practically liking the foil you're taking off of it says everything! :-)

  5. I must try nibs again, I bought some once in a health food shop and I didn't like them at all, but maybe they had gone off or something. Your cakes look gorgeous! Hope all's well. x Joanna

  6. Your brownies look really delicious! I finally found nibs at a little health food story near my house, so I made these for Thanksgiving. I wasn't around when everyone dug into them, and there was a big debate about what the crunchy bits were.

    I didn't bother with the foil, as I was just serving them right from the pan. Have you seen the new Reynolds foil that is foil on one side and parchment on the other? I bet it would work great for these. I bought a roll of it but haven't used any yet.