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I have read here that cocoa nibs can be used in place of chocolate chips, but what about the other way around? A recipe I want to try calls for cocoa nibs, but I am having a hard time finding them. What can be substituted for cocoa nibs (if anything)?

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Cocoa nibs cannot in the general case be substituted for chocolate chips. Please provide the recipe or context in which you want to sub for the nibs, so that you can get better guidance. Often, they can simply be omitted. – SAJ14SAJ Jan 29 '14 at 22:09
You may be able to find carob nibs, but honestly, carob tastes like honey mixed with mud IMO. If you want the appropriate flavor and texture, you're going to have to track down cocoa nibs. You should be able to find them relatively easily online. – Matthew Jan 30 '14 at 4:06
@SAJ14SAJ Here are the ingredients from the recipe: 3 cups gluten-free powdered sugar ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large egg whites 1 large egg 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs – unkfrank Jan 30 '14 at 14:26
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In this recipe, the nibs are being used as an accent ingredient, adding some crunchiness and a burst of chocolate flavor, as well as some bitterness.

They are not essential to chemistry or overall outcome of the recipe.

You may:

  • Simply omit them
  • Chopped or coarsely ground roasted coffee would have a similar profile, although not as fatty, and of course, coffee flavored
  • Try another crunchy, possibly somewhat bitter ingredient like chopped nuts; almonds, hazelnuts, and (in some people's opinions, although I dislike them) walnuts have a particular affinity for chocolate.
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I frequently have used various chopped/ground nuts, toasted, in equal measure, for recipes that call for nibs. It really works fine, but it of course does not give the same flavor as nibs would. – franko Jan 30 '14 at 17:05
@franko Maybe you could add cocoa powder to the nuts to flavor more like the nibs? – Jefromi Jan 30 '14 at 20:36
@Jefromi - hmm, maybe. I might get worried about drying out the dough too much, but it's definitely worth experimenting with. – franko Jan 31 '14 at 20:14

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