Once cacao beans are picked and roasted, they're separated from their husks, then broken into pieces. These are cocoa nibs. To make chocolate, the pieces are ground into a thick paste called chocolate liquor, which is combined with cocoa butter and sugar. But these bits of bean can also be used to add a subtle chocolate flavor and soft crunch to baked goods and savory dishes.
While cocoa nibs can be eaten as a snack, I particularly enjoy them as a topping on ice cream or studded inside chocolate bars. I've heard they're great mixed into cookies as well. How have you had them?
Source: Flickr User La.Catholique