Cocoa Nibs and Pistachio Shortbread

Biscuits, Gifts | 17th January 2011 | By

This recipe from Suelle was another one I knew I was going to make as soon as I saw it on Mainly Baking. These biscuits looked so attractive with the lovely green pistachios and brown nibs, I thought they would make good Christmas gifts.

This is what I did:

  • Creamed 110g unsalted butter with 50g caster sugar until light and fluffy
  • Sifted in 125g unbleached white flour (unusual for me, but I wanted them to look pale and interesting – didn’t quite work), 50g semolina and a pinch of rock salt.
  • Mixed roughly together, then added 25g pistachios – roughly chopped and 20g cocoa nibs.
  • Kneaded this very briefly until all incorporated.
  • Rolled out to about 3mm and cut into 14 rounds – not very easy as mixture was fragile and kept breaking.
  • Baked at 150C for 25 minutes.

Well, mine didn’t look nearly as good as Suelle’s but I’m so glad I made them as these shortbreads were delicious and went down particularly well with the recipients. They were very short, crisp and crumbly and oh so yummy.  I wish I’d made a whole batch just for us. Thank you Suelle for a truly wonderful recipe.


  1. Leave a Reply

    17th January 2011

    Lovely idea – what a treat with a cuppa. I’ve been planning on making some shortbread with nuts and chocolate too! Hope they turn out as well as yours did ;0)

  2. Leave a Reply

    17th January 2011

    Glad you liked the recipe. You may get a less crumbly dough if you knead a little longer – I think shortbreads need hand heat to soften the butter more, before the dough holds together well.

    CC – I found the nibs a little on the bitter side, but in a sweet biscuit that can be a good contrast, IMO.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    17th January 2011

    looking lovely choclette, I too saw this recipe and put it into my must bake folder… just have Jan to get through before i’m allowing myself to bake again!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Ananda Rajashekar
    17th January 2011

    i’m not a big fan of cocoa nibs, but pistachio oh i love that little green stuffs 🙂 admire the fact that u have got uniform shape and size

  5. Leave a Reply

    17th January 2011

    Chele, I’m sure yours will turn out a heap better than mine – at least in looks if not in flavour.

    CC – yes, they are a bit bitter but I’d echo Suelle’s comment above.

    Suelle – that’s interesting what you say about kneading, I’d thought shortbread was a bit like pastry and that it would get tough if handled too much. Will try what you suggest another time.

    BVG – I’ve always used semolina in shortbread, but haven’t tried cornflour, so not sure how different they would be.

    Dom – only another 2 weeks to go – I’m sure you can do it, although looking at all these food blogs probably doesn’t make it any easier 😉

    Ananda – cocoa nibs are an acquired taste but they were very good in these biscuits. The uniform size and shape is down to using a cutter.

  6. Leave a Reply

    17th January 2011

    Oh what a fab idea. My hubby loves pistachio, shortbread and chocolate but never had all 3 together and with Valentines around the corner I think i’ll give them a whirl!!

    First visit to your blog, but signed up as a follower so won’t be my last! 😉

  7. Leave a Reply

    Confectionary Designs
    17th January 2011

    Wonderful sounding recipe – thanks for sharing. Pistachios are the best nuts for taste and color and a nice add of bitter nibs sounds great.

  8. Leave a Reply

    17th January 2011

    What a great combo. They must have a great texture. I love the idea of using cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips, I love the bitterness!

  9. Leave a Reply
    18th January 2011

    Choc, they look and sound delicious – the semolina is an unusual ingredient. I love cocoa nibs and always keep a large quantity at home, so I’m always looking for things to do with them. Thanks to you and Suelle for the recipe!

  10. Leave a Reply

    18th January 2011

    Louise – thanks for following and kind comments. Would love to know how you get on, if you do make these.

    FreeRangeGirl – the cocoa nibs also provide an additional crunch contrast.

    Confectionary Designs – Thank you. Do so agree with you about pistachios.

    Helen – I was eating cocoa nibs as a health kick for a while, but think I prefer them in these biscuits 😉

    Janice – they do seem to be popular.

    Hazel, yes I can see these would be your sort of thing. Possibly not for those who have a very sweet tooth, but I thought they were a real winner.

    Celia – I always make my shortbread with semolina, gives it a little bit more substance and texture. the credit for this recipe goes entirely to Suelle.

  11. Leave a Reply

    19th January 2011

    I keep looking for cocoa nibs but can’t find them. The shortbread is making me rather hungry!

  12. Leave a Reply

    19th January 2011

    CityHippy – I think I preferred these to Paul A Young’s cocoa nib cookies I made back in May (still haven’t made his tea loaf!)

    Raffaella – thank you

    Nic – most health food shops should sell them.

  13. Leave a Reply

    20th January 2011

    I could taste the fluffiness and as well as the texture of pistachios. A plus for cocoa nibs and this would drive me nuts wanting for more. Bakeylicious.

  14. Leave a Reply

    21st January 2011

    MangoCheeks – sounds like you are starting to get the chocolate bug 😉

    Moogie – thank you for following.

    Buywow – thank you

  15. Leave a Reply

    4th February 2011

    Hello, went off in search of cocao nibs but couldn’t find them in local supermarket. I assume they are different to Chocolate Chips? Any ideas where to get them from?

    Many thanks

  16. Leave a Reply

    4th February 2011

    Louise – Cocoa Nibs are a pre-chocolate product and are very different to chocolate chips. You should find them in a health food shop or a good chocolate shop.

  17. Leave a Reply

    4th February 2011

    thanks, i would never have looked in a health food shop so good job I asked! With pistachios and cocoa nibs these must be positively good for you then!! 😉

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