Cocoa nib shortbread

Hands up if you know what scroggin is! My jar of cocoa nibs claim it’s a great addition to scroggin which is the supposedly Australian/Kiwi word for trail mix. One theory is the word is an acronym for sultanas, chocolate, raisins, orange peel, grains, glucose, imagination and nuts. A more entertaining explanation is that it’s a hybrid of scrotum and noggin.

A poll of my friends on a single afternoon revealed that no one had any idea what scroggin was (or schmogle either which is an alternate name). My in-depth research thus concluded that it must be a more commonly used name in New Zealand.

This shortbread with cocoa nibs is a more sophisticated chocolate chip cookie. They’re light and delicate and I like the faintly bitter chocolate that shines through. It’s based on the same shortbread with lavender I made a while back. Not particularly sweet, they’re perfect with a lazy afternoon tea or coffee.

The dough also freezes well so you can save some chocolate tinged delights for when unexpected guests drop by. Not that I channel Martha Stewart and bake cookies on the spot for friends but you might! This recipe makes quite a lot so I usually bake half and stash the rest for a rainy day.

Great as it is, cocoa nib shortbread is far too delicate to take hiking or on a bushwalk. They’d crumble into a mess and then imagine how disappointed you’d be! Throw a handful of cocoa nibs into your trail mix ahem scroggin instead if you want a pure chocolate hit without sugar when you’re doing outdoorsy stuff.

Feeds: 20 people
Start cooking: About 1 hour before eating

Cocoa nib shortbread

  • 225 grams x plain flour
  • 220 grams x unsalted butter, softened
  • 120 grams x golden caster sugar
  • 120 grams x cornflour (or rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup x cocoa nibs (about 30 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons x caster sugar for rolling (optional)
  1. Sift the plain flour and cornflour into a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale.
  3. Gently stir the cocoa nibs into the creamed mixture .
  4. Then fold through flour mixture. Lightly knead the dough on a clean surface until it comes together.
  5. Divide the dough into half portions. Shape each half into a log about 5cm (2 inches) in diameter.
  6. Wrap each log in baking paper, twisting the ends. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 160 C (320 F) and prepare two baking trays with silicon baking mats or baking paper.
  8. Unwrap the logs, and roll the logs in the extra caster sugar. Slice into 1 cm rounds.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until still pale but just cooked.
  10. Rest for at least 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks.