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Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

Well I’ve been doing ok – not great but ok – on my “knock the sugar habit” diet. I found the 100g Toblerone bars at the dollar store the other day and couldn’t resist, then yesterday I found haagan daz bars at Wal-mart and conveniently forgot I was cutting back on sugar. Today I decided that I needed to have healthier alternatives on hand for when I have a chocolate craving. I signed up at the Splenda site and found this recipe for biscotti.

When making them, the dough was very dry and when I tried forming the logs not all of the dough came together. I baked them anyway and when I took them out the first time to cut into cookies, part of a log fell off. 😦 I stuck it back together, kept cutting, then popped them all in the oven for teh second bake. They came out great! Some of the crumbly bits got burnt but I still had a majority of cookies that looked like coffee shop biscotti! i got no where near 30 biscuits, more like a dozen. They are the correct texture and soak up coffee quite nicely.

I find that many artificial sweeteners are more like “neutralizers”. They neutralize any bitterness in a recipe instead of really adding a pleasant sweetness the way sugar does. These cookies are an example of this, but if my tastebuds had recovered they would probably taste sweeter. Speaking of which, I found a couple of interesting articles this past week about sugar; one about how our tastebuds recover from eating excess sugar and they other about how sugar affects our memory.

Want to kick your sugar habit for good? New York nutritionist, Tanya Zuckerbrot, creator of The F-Factor Diet says time may be the thing you need most. “Your taste buds change every two weeks or so, so one of the easiest ways to kick your habit is to lay off of your favorites for a couple weeks,” she says. “Once you detox your body from sugar, your cravings for it will decrease. In that time you’ll find new favorites!”

And according to Psychology today:

Research indicates that a diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, our brains can’t form new memories and we can’t learn (or remember) much of anything. Levels of BDNF are particularly low in people with an impaired glucose metabolism—diabetics and pre-diabetics—and as the amount of BDNF decreases, sugar metabolism worsens.

Full article here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/neuronarrative/201204/what-eating-too-much-sugar-does-your-brain

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

Prep Time :45 min Bake Time :55 min Makes :30 cookies

1/3 cup (80 mL) butter, softened

2/3 cup (160 mL) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

2 eggs

2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (80 mL) cocoa powder, sifted

1 tbsp (15 mL) instant espresso powder

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1 cup (250 mL) semisweet chocolate chips

In stand mixer or bowl with beaters, beat butter with SPLENDA® Granulated, until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 2 additions to form stiff dough. Stir in half of the chocolate chips.

Turn out onto work surface; divide in half. Using hands, roll each half into 10 x 2 inch (25 x 5 cm) log; flatten slightly.Transfer to greased baking sheet. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 minutes; let cool on pan on rack for 5 minutes.

Transfer to cutting board. Using chef’s knife, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices. Return to baking sheet, standing slices upright and leaving space between each. Bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt remaining chocolate chips; let cool slightly. Dip half of each biscotti into chocolate; let stand on parchment paper–lined baking sheet until set, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information: Amount per Serving Serving Size: 1 cookie, Total Calories: 80

Calories from Fat: 36 Total Fat: 4 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 18 mg Sodium: 78 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 10 g Fibre: 1 g Sugars: 3 g Protein: 2 g

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About heathershomemade

Cupcake obsessed foodie from Ottawa, ON, Canada

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