Costa Rican Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs

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Enjoy the essence of chocolate with these Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs . They make for a nice change from your classic chocolate chips cookie and are a must-try for true chocolate lovers!

Haferkekse mit Kakao Nibs und braunem Zucker

Today I am presenting you guys with a culinary souvenir from my honeymoon in Costa Rica! Which was like almost a year ago.I have been holding back this recipe for all this time because I really wanted to save it for those last 2 weeks before Christmas when we all start to run low on cookies but there’s just too little time to do anything complicated! 

Anyways, let me tell you about these Costa Rican Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs. I got to try them during a tour through an organic spice farm with the sounding name Villa Vanilla! 

Haferflocken Kekse mit Kakao Nibs

We learned a lot about sustainable farming in general and about the cultivation of spices like vanilla, cinnamon, tumeric and allspice! The spice farm also grows cacao trees and produces their own chocolate products! If you are at all interested in the whole bean-to-bar process, Costa Rica is the country to visit! I have been on several chocolate related tours there and it really helped me understand chocolate and appreciate it in a new way, inspiring me to use chocolate differently and more versatilely.

Villa Vanilla Spice Farm Costa RIca

I am not gonna give you the whole bean-to-bar spiel and will jump to the relevant aspects. The tasting of all the delicacies created by the  farm’s pastry chef, of course using their own spices and cocoa. Amongst fresh cinnamon bark tea and vanilla bean cheesecake we were also able to try the farm’s signature cookie, their Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs! 

Seriously, in my opinion Cacao Nibs are the new Chocolate Chip! 

In a nutshell, Cacao Nibs are bits of fermented, dried, roasted and crushed cacao beans. That’s about it! The natural version of chocolate chips, if you will. They’re extremely good for you, and have an intense chocolatey taste. Chocolatey but not sweet at all.

Raw cacao beans picture

We got to try some fresh out of the mortar! The texture of the cacao nibs reminded me of a macadamia nut as they are crunchy on the outside yet tender and somehow buttery.

Herstellung von Kakao Nibs

Cacao Nibs are available in Canada and the US. I like to order These Organic Raw Cacao Nibs 300g. They are super versatile as they are a nice addition to sweet AND savory dishes..Sprinkle them on a salad or add them to your morning muesli. Or just bake these incredible Oatmeal Cookies!

Oatmeal Cocoa Nib Cookies with brown sugar

For those of you, who have difficulties imagining a crunchy Oatmeal Cookie! Just try not to have any expectations because this is gonna be different from most cookies you might have eaten so far. Good different! 

As I said, these Costa Rican Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs are crunchy and taste like a spiced cookie. That’s the vanilla, cinnamon and hint of chili in the dough! The Oats are kind of visible in the dough and I first thought they were coconut flakes. Anyways, they make for a unique texture and turn these crunchy oatmeal cookies with cacao nibs into an almost healthy treat.

Costa Rican Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs and Brown Sugar

The Cacao Nibs are the perfect addition to these Spiced Oatmeal Cookies. The texture reminds of chopped nuts but the taste is pure bitter chocolate – the perfect complement to a sweet Oatmeal Cookie!

As a bonus, they are super easy to make and are the perfect last-minute Christmas Cookie! Make sure you let them cool completely before storing them in cookie tins! They will keep a minimum of two weeks but probably won’t last that long :-) 

I was lucky to be given the recipe for these insanely good Oatmeal Cookies I am sharing with you today and my special thanks go to the Villa Vanilla Pastry Chef for doing so! Muchisimas gracias! I hope you guys are enjoying them as much as we did! 



Costa Rican Oatmeal Cookies with Cacao Nibs

Author Kiki Johnson


  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 250 g softened butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 300 g flour
  • 200 g rolled oats
  • 90 g Cacao Nibs
  • 1,5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda


  1. Beat butter, sugar and egg whites for a couple of minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Mix just until combined. Put dough onto a slightly oiled or floured surface, shape into a ball and cut into 4 quarters. Roll out each quarter into a 5 to 6 cm diameter log. Wrap logs into cling film and let the dough firm up in the fridge for about 4 hours or until form.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (375 F). Cut of 0,5 cm slices of the dough and transfer cookies onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 12 Minutes, take out of the oven and let cool completely before storing them.

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  1. Mhh die Kekse sehen sehr gut aus! Die Tour klingt sehr interessant, da bekommt man natürlich noch mal einen ganz anderen Sichtpunkt auf die verschiedene Gewürze, sehr spannend!
    Liebe Grüsse,

  2. I want to make these now but the spice, baking powder, and soda amounts seem way off. Is it really 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon? 1 TL or 2 teaspoons baking powder? And 3/4 TL or 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. Seems like a lot of these ingredients. Not sure of these measurements. Thanks.

    • Hello Dinah
      When I translated the amounts I forgot to replace Tl, which is German for teaspoon, with the right Enlish equivalent. I corrected it! The right amount is 1 tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp baking soda. The spices are correct. If you want, use less chili powder to get a less spicy cookie! Thanks for pointing it out to me! Enjoy your cookies! Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you for the corrections. Is it still 1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon? Or is that teaspoons also. Thanks for getting back so quickly.

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