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Candied Cacao Nibs

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


cacao nibs
(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com

Cacao nibs are the roasted, chopped bits of cacao seeds that are the basis of chocolate. They have a strong chocolate aroma and taste, but are not naturally sweet and are generally not eaten on their own. In this candy, they are caramelized with sugar to produce a crunchy, darkly sweet snack that is addictive on its own, and a great addition to truffles, barks, and brittles.

You can find cacao nibs at some gourmet food or baking stores.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 3 ounces cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter, softened


1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Place the butter on a dish or slip of parchment near the stove.

2. Place the nibs and the sugar in a small saucepan and heat them over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Soon the sugar will start to stick together and form larger clumps. It is normal for the mixture to give off a little smoke during the cooking process.

3. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar liquefies and there are only a few specks of unincorporated sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter immediately, stirring well.

4. Scrape the candied nibs onto the prepared baking sheet, separating them as much as possible. Allow them to cool at room temperature before breaking them apart by hand. Store in a dry Ziploc bag or airtight container. Do not refrigerate.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Another Tweak, Member Deadpan2K

I used 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup organic dark brown sugar, 2tbsp agave nectar, and a little more than 5.5oz of cacoa nibs. The 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar probably produced about the same consistency as the 2/3 cup of sugar used by the other gentleman. It worked well. I put in the nibs, added the butter, and kept mixing until the butter was melted and blended. After the brown sugar was added, I waited for it to be completely dissolved into the mixture and then cooked for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. I sprayed my wax paper as suggested, flattened them as much as possible with the wooden spoon and let them cool. All has gone well, especially for my first attempt at candying anything. This is a great treat to be had in very small bits. Really satisfies the sweet tooth without all the sweet.

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

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