The next time you find yourself biting into a chocolate chip cookie and thinking that it could use some more chocolate in it, set the cookie down and make yourself a batch of these Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs instead. The cookies deliver a tremendous amount of chocolate flavor in every bite, in spite of the fact that they look like ordinary chocolate chip cookies at first glance. They are packed with chocolate chunks, which lend themselves to a more even distribution throughout the cookie dough than regular chocolate chips do, and cacao nibs.
Cacao nibs are pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted, but have not yet been ground down to continue the chocolate-making process. Nibs have a flavor that is somewhere between a dark chocolate bar and a coffee bean, with an intensely bittersweet chocolate flavor and a really nice crunch. Their chocolate flavor amps up the chocolate chunks already in the dough, while adding a bit of texture to the cookies. In most cookie recipes, that texture might come from toasted nuts, but in this recipe you’re only building on existing chocolate flavor, not adding in additional flavors of walnut, pecans or other nuts. Chocolate-covered cacao nibs are often easier to find than regular cacao nibs because they are sold as a snack food at many markets. Though I used plain, chocolate-covered cacao nibs will also work well in this recipe.
These cookies are buttery, chewy and have enough chocolate flavor to satisfy someone who might normally reach for a brownie instead of a cookie. There is a touch of vanilla and a whisper of cinnamon, which give the cookies a little extra depth. They’re seriously addictive and one of my favorite oatmeal cookie variations. The cookies are outstanding on the day that they are baked, when the chocolate is still slightly melty, but keep well in an airtight container for a few days after baking. They also freeze well, if you want to save a portion of the batch for longer storage.
Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chunks
1/3 cup cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and creamy. Blend in eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the oatmeal. When all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, stir in the chocolate chunks and cacao nibs until both are evenly distributed in the cookie dough.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned at the edges and just set in the center.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.