Entries in Coffee (4)


Espresso Biscuits

I like a little sweet in the morning. Usually I am on my best behavior and stick to oatmeal or cereal to start my day right - but sometimes I go the other way. A cup of coffee and something sweet and a little sinful to pair with it. A kick-start to my morning. 

Instant espresso is one of my pantry secret weapons. I love adding it to a variety of chocolate baked goods. It deepens the cocoa flavor in such a lovely way. Often I add a tablespoon or two into the liquid ingredients in a recipe. Sometimes I add it to the dry ingredients for cookies. 

The other ingredient in this recipe to call out is the Dutch Process Cocoa. Unlike regular baking cocoa, Dutch Process Cocoa is made from cacao beans that have been washed with a potassium solution, to neutralize their acidity and mellow out the cocoa flavor. When recipes call for Dutch Process Cocoa you want to not swap it our for natural cocoa as it can change the outcome of your recipe. 

These Espresso Biscuits are perfect with a cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream. I also love to wrap some up and take them to a friend. They have a really full cocoa taste and are dry in a really good way - that must be all the butter balancing them. 

Espresso Biscuits

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup Dutch cocoa

1 1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 teasponn vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment

In a small bowl sift together the flour, instant espresso and cocoa 

In a larger bowl blend the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy with an electric mixer - about 3-4 minutes

Gradually mix in the flour mixture to the butter mixture - making sure to scrape downt he sides of the bowl

Roll 2 tablespoons of dough at a time between your hands to form a ball

Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart

Use tines of a dinner fork to press the dough down into the biscuit shape

Bake until firm to the touch - 10-12 minutes

Transfer to a wire rack to cool 

Will store for 3 days in airtight container


No Sugar Update

I lasted 1 1/2 weeks. In some respects I think I failed. In others I know I won. 

In the failing category I love dessert and after 1 1/2 weeks of no sugar was presented with an opportunity to taste the new ice cream at Cupcake Royale and could not resist. This led me to understand that a purposeful dessert is important to me. 

In the winning category I have been drinking my coffee without sugar for 2 weeks now. And loving it. I have not had any sugar laden snacks instead choosing whole grains and protein and vegetables instead. I have lost 3 pounds without even trying. I am sleeping better and have more energy throughout the day. I fell like I am more aware and conscience of what I am eating which is a huge win for someone who eats when stressed. 


The sweet taste of sugar

I must confess - I am a sugar addict. 

It starts in the morning with iced coffee sweetened with artificial sweetener or simple syrup. If we are at a favorite coffee shop I might add on some sort of sweet as breakfast otherwise cereal with fruit and either sugar or artificial sweetener again. 

I try to find time to bring a "healthy" lunch to work. Salad of some sort, yogurt and fruit. I usually get bored sometime during the day and start snacking on something that contains sugar or salt. A diet soda to wash it down - bored stress eating.

I finish the day with a meal of some kind and occasionally a sweet to end the day. 

If I am bored, stressed or overly hungry I often will reach for the wrong type of quick snack that leaves me with a sugar crash yearning for more sugar. 

Sometimes life can get so busy and crazy that I don't notice I am wrecking myself until it is almost too late. Lately I have been not sleeping well. I have had no energy in the afternoon and I just noticed that my sugar and sugar substitute consumption was quite high. 

I knew I needed a drastic overhaul. I worry about my weight of course, but I also have wrist tendonitis and I know that sugar is a culprit of inflammation. I know I want to feel better so cutting sugar out is where I am going to start. This will be no small feat - take for example the Nectarine Oat Cake I baked today. Not even a bite and that hurts. 

The goal is no sugar for 30 days. Today is day one. This includes artifical sweeteners. Also no prepared products with sweetener - honey, stevia, molasses etc. I am good about reading labels but need to be diligent. This means lots of fresh whole foods. I will let myself eat fruit. A couple of pieces a day. 

Yesterday I needed to get my pantry and fridge in order so I could be prepared for this adventure. I bought fruit and greens for smoothies and found two amazing cereals that have no sugar. One is a Museli and the other a locally made hot cereal. I need cereal. It is how I start my day off right. 

Today I put together a orzo and garden vegetable salad for me and Mr. Ramon to take to work. 

I think the hardest thing will be my coffee. I always drink sweetened coffee. I have not had any coffee today since the thought of black coffee made me sad. So I feel tired. Iced tea maybe? With lemon. 

I expect to have a lot to share with you as I experience this over the next 30 days. 


Eat Cake!

Most mornings I fight the urge to eat cake. And by cake I mean any baked pastry from any number of local coffee shops featuring tasty baked goods. Oh I know that this is not the way a grown woman should start her morning. It is so easy to shut down the logical, "I know about proper nutrition" part of my brain that wants me to eat a lean protien source such as eggs or yogurt. And most times I do. But then there are the mornings I need cake. 

I wonder - do thin girls eat cake for breakfast? Probably not. Or if they do they decide to run and burn that cake off. Maybe this is what sets me apart from those people. That I cannot say no to cake and might only run to catch a bus. 

I fancy myself as a bit of a baker. So many times in my brain this cake eating is research. And it kind of is. I like to see what others are baking and be inspired to try baking new things. I also love certain baked goods so much - like the Squash Bread that Macrina Bakery makes and sells though local coffee shops everywhere I go. That thick slab of bread, moist and tender with toasted walnuts. Really if I was musical I would write a song about it. 

This morning found me and Mr. Ramon getting coffee before work. We indulge in this treat a couple of times a week together. "Want to get coffee?" he asks. "Sure - where do you want to go?" We ponder the 4-5 options available near his work on Capitol Hill. This morning we chose Oddfellows. Mr. Ramon is a drip coffee guy and I am currently obsessed with iced coffee or iced americanos.

After much study of the bakery case I decided on French Toast Bundt Cake. This was real cake for breakfast this time. It smelled like butter and maple, all things french toast. It paired really well with my iced americano. It was moist and still warm from the oven. Yum!