sweet valentine

this past week i was tasked with writing a guest blog post article for 'good food life' about the five most romantic foods. nifty! but where does one start with such a subject? i wanted it to be fun, a bit racy but appropriate, and inspiring for home cooks. in the end, i think it came together quite nicely, if i do say so myself (read it here)... and it even inspired me to test out a new recipe that combined two of the most seductive foods: chocolate and cheese. who could resist? these cookies are simple to whip up and will certainly make an impression on whomever is lucky enough to share them with you. 

cream cheese and cocoa nib shortbread cookies
(makes about 50-60 mini cookies) 
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon course sea salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
3 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup raw cocoa nibs

whip together cream cheese and butter in electric mixer until light and fluffy. add salt, sugar and vanilla to combine and then slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time. finally add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup nibs. save 1/2 cup nibs for rolling your dough in! once combined, divide dough onto two large pieces of parchment paper. form each into a inch thick log and wrap with parchment paper. refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. once the logs are firm, preheat oven to 350 degrees. remove from parchment paper and set onto cutting board. spread 1/2 cup nibs on the cutting board and roll your dough through it, patting and pressing the nibs into the edge of your log. using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4" rounds. set the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. they will not expand or spread out much, so don't worry about crowded baking sheets. bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms and edges take on a tiny bit of color, but not too browned.

these shortbread cookies are fabulous with coffee! or with a scoop of coffee ice cream sprinkled with a few extra cocoa nibs. yum!