Cocoa Nib Brownies

Cocoa Nibs + Brownies
As a dietitian, I value eating healthy. Luckily, part of eating healthy is indulging every once and a while. These brownies are my go-to when I want something sweet and delicious. The only thing healthy about these brownies is how happy you will feel when you eat them. I’ve made these brownies for a couple of gatherings over the past few months and they have caused the same reaction – everyone asks me for the recipe! So I’m here to share my recipe to ensure you always end up with the most decadent fudge-y brownies; completed with a glossy, sugar topping. Trust me, you don’t need icing, they are rich enough on their own.

Three different types of chocolate go into creating the wonderful balance in this recipe – dark cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and crunchy cocoa nibs.

Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs are roasted cocoa beans which have been chopped into small pieces.  They are bitter and crunchy and are great as a topping on yogurt or oatmeal (chocolate oatmeal – yes please!). My preference is to surround them in this rich brownie batter.  Cocoa nibs are more of a specialty item, so if you have trouble finding them you can always substitute chopped walnuts or pecans to add a similar texture.

The recipe is really easy to put together as it’s all made in one pot. You start by melting the butter and sugar together; this is the secret to achieving that beautiful crispy top sugar layer. After the sugar starts to dissolve you will need to let mixture cool down slightly before you add the eggs. Nobody wants scrambled eggs in their brownies.

Finally, whatever you do, DO NOT OVERCOOK the brownies.  This is how you achieve that fudge-y, almost truffle-like texture. No cake brownies here. You’ll know the brownies are ready when the edges are puffed and set, but the centre should still be gooey.

You will need to be patient and let the brownies cool and have a chance to set before you try to cut into them. Waiting for them to cool is the hardest part, but a very necessary step. Cutting them too soon will leave you with a brownie disaster on your hands.   These brownies are rich so I usually cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces, but most people go back for seconds!


Cocoa Nibs Brownies


Cocoa Nib Brownies

Recipe by Kirsten.  Makes one 9×13 pan.


1 cup of butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cocoa nibs


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper or foil.
2. In a large sauce pan, melt butter and sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar starts to dissolve, about 3-5 minutes.  Set aside to cool while you gather the other ingredients.
3. Add one egg at a time to the sugar/butter mixture, and stir after each addition. Next stir in the vanilla and cocoa powder until you get a glossy and smooth batter.
4. Into the chocolate mixture add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir until you get a smooth, lump free mixture. Then stir in the chocolate chips and cocoa nibs (or nuts if using).
5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared 9×13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
6.  Allow brownies to cool and set before cutting. Enjoy!

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