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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 at 22:09
    
Where did you read that? If you found an answer here that said you could make that substitution, it was probably wrong or misleading, and I'd like to address it. –  Jefromi Jan 30 at 0:56
    
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 at 4:06
    
@Jefromi I read it here in one of the answers: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/21245/…. It does say using the nibs in place of chocolate chips for a more grown up flavor, but I took that as substituting. –  unkfrank Jan 30 at 14:08
    
@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 at 14:26
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1 Answer 1

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 at 17:05
    
@franko Maybe you could add cocoa powder to the nuts to flavor more like the nibs? –  Jefromi Jan 30 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 at 20:14
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