Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to Survive a Crazy Week

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This is it folks! My week from hell. Every semester, there always seems to be one week where every possible assignment you can imagine is due. It’s a conspiracy theory, I tell you. Granted, it’s nothing like the hell weeks I experienced back in my undergrad days. Nothing beats pulling all-nighters and playing recall wars in a desperate attempt to churn out 2500 words...times four. How I don’t miss those days! But with two midterms, two assignments and production nights for our magazine this week, it’ll be a week for little sleep and lots of caffeine!

My solution? Make some caffeine-packed biscotti! They’re incredible delicious, portable, and makes for a double dose when you dip them in your coffee. These biscotti have the added depth of cinnamon, which goes so well with the espresso flavour, making for the cookie version of a cappuccino sprinkled with cinnamon. Add chocolate and toasted pecans to the dough and you’re in bliss!

These biscotti have a different texture from your average, hard-as-rock ones you’d find in stores and coffee shops, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those who, like me, don’t want to break a tooth when eating them sans-coffee. They're lighter and crispier, but just as delicious. These are a great little booster during your mid-afternoon coffee, but will also surely impress your guests the next time you have them over for coffee. Be warned: these are highly addictive!

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Cinnamon Mocha Biscotti
Adapted from Recipezaar
Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp instant expresso or instant coffee granules
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3/4 to 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.

Combine sugar and butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add the espresso or coffee granules; mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix briefly.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips.

Divide dough in half. Form two 12" x 2" logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes, or until firm.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 3/4-inch-wide slices. Place slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over, bake about 12 minutes more or until light golden and firm. Transfer biscotti to racks and cool.


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