Farewell Olympics 2016 – I will freely admit that I did not watch even one single event, but I’m sure you were great. Uh, go Canada??!!! (How did we do anyway? Good? ….ok, I just looked it up because I was super embarrassed about my complete lack of enthusiasm and/ or knowledge on the Olympic front. In case you were wondering, for medals, Canada got 15 bronze, 3 silver and 4 gold. Which gave us an overall ranking of 10th place. Out of 78 countries, I’d say that’s not too shabby 🙂 . And now you have a cheat sheet to pretend that you too watched more of the Olympics than you really did. That’s me, providing cheating tips and tricks since 2015). I know technically the Olympics actually ended last week, but in the interest of enjoying doing four posts (aka a month’s worth) for any themed month, we’ll pretend the Olympics are just ending now instead. Ok? Ok.
For this final post, I had actually originally intended to do some kind of Spicy Mexican chocolate pudding English trifle (but don’t worry, not in the way that Rachel from Friends made a trifle 😉 ). But then, I noticed how virtually identical the Mexican and Italian flags are, and I took this as a sign from the baking gods that sit atop the sugar mountain that resides in the sky, that these countries are practically begging to be combined:
So change in plans ensued (although it’s still not that different), I am now bringing you Mexican chocolate biscotti with a spicy mocha dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is mostly because, well, an extra level of deliciousness is never a mistake, but also because since biscotti are a drier cookie more intended to be consumed with coffee or some other hot beverage that you can dip it into to moisten it up, I thought I’d give people the option of just eating it straight up and increasing the moistness via a mocha dip. Also, due to the coffee flavour element that I’ve added, it still lets you have that “dipping your cookie in coffee” feeling. Doesn’t that just make you feel like you’re sitting in a little café in Italy? (while a Mariachi band plays nearby perhaps? 😉 ). Feel free to completely saturate these babies to your hearts content and allow all of your chocoholic dreams to come true. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate? Commence swooning now.
I will also share with you dear readers how much time I wasted on that terrible, terrible pun headline for this week. I had so much trouble you wouldn’t believe that that one is actually the best of the lot. For instance, other contenders included “I’m Italy At A Loss For Puns, Mexi-I-Can Skip It This Week?” and “That (Bis)Scotti’s a Hottie”. *le sigh*. My standards are clearly not even that high, but even I think those are terrible. Maybe I should just change the title to “work in progress” and see if anyone out there thinks they can come up with something better? Feel free to post in the comments below. Y’all know I love a good pun, but this week has been (in the interest of the Olympics) an exercise in futility. Ugh, please stop Amber, you’re just embarrassing yourself now. I just…I can’t even.
So, to try and make up for this lack in the future, I enrolled myself in pun school. You know you’ve picked the right place when their diplomas include the tagline “You’ve Been Schooled!” 😉 . In the interest of it being back to school season (sorry to bring up a sore subject for all you students and teachers out there 😉 ), I will end this post with a short list of school related puns and jokes for your enjoyment which I stole from various places around the interwebs:
- The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
- She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
- My father wanted me to have all the educational opportunities he never had… so he sent me to a girls school.
- If I drop out of school, where am I gonna find drugs?
- The hardest thing to do at a community college is cheat on a test because the only people you can cheat off of also go to a community college.
Yield: 18 cookies
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup olive oil (or whatever oil you have is probably fine)
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or if you want more heat 1/4-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
- large pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper
- In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, ground flax, oil, milk and vanilla until smooth
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir with a mixing spoon until a smooth dough is formed.
- Form a log about 11 inches long by 4 inches wide and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it’s puffed up a little bit and slightly firm, but not really browning.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Once you’re biscotti log has cooled for 45 minutes or so, move it to a cutting board very carefully. With a large, sharp and heavy knife, cut the log into 1/2 inch slices. Carefully, using the back of a small spoon or a butter knife, spread some of your butter-cinnamon-sugar mixture onto one side of your biscotti and place on a baking sheet standing on its bottom edge if possible.
- Return baking sheet to the oven (still at 300F) for another 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- For the dipping sauce, place your cup of chocolate chips into a medium sized bowl. Place canned coconut milk into a smallish bowl and microwave for a minute or two, or until it just starts to bubble (you can alternatively do this in a very small pot on the stovetop as well). Stir instant coffee into coconut milk until fully dissolved and pour mixture over chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, then stir until completely smooth. Add in cayenne and cinnamon, adjusting to taste.
- Serve warm with biscotti.
- Store biscotti in an airtight container, and the dipping sauce in the refrigerator (it will thicken in the fridge, so if you’re not having it all at once, just microwave it for 30 seconds or so to warm it up again).