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Archive for December, 2009

Coffee and toffee together at last. For a more intense blast of coffee, use instant espresso powder instead of instant coffee.  Great idea for the holidays!

COFFEE TOFFEE SANDIES

 Start to finish: 3 hours (30 minutes active)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1 tablespoon hot water

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup toffee pieces

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and both sugars until light and creamy.

In a small bowl, combine the coffee and hot water, stirring until dissolved. Add the coffee to the butter and sugar mixture, beating until well combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until all the flour is blended. Do not over mix. It should be crumbly.

Add the toffee pieces and mix using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Divide the dough in half, placing each piece onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Squeeze it together into a log using the plastic 

wrap to help shape it. Wrap the logs in the plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours, or until well chilled.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice each log into rounds about 3/8 of an inch thick. Squeeze any crumbles back together. Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheet; they do not spread. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to tan on the bottom and start to set. Cool on the baking sheet and store in an airtight container. Makes 30 cookies.

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The December issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine released a study on the inverse relationship between coffee and tea consumption and diabetes risk, according to Modern Medicine.  It seems that people who drink coffee or tea regularly have a significantly lowered risk. 

Details of the study on coffee, tea, and diabetes risk

At the University of Sydney in Austrailia researchers analyzed a total of 18 studies, and almost half a million people who regularly drink coffee, decaf coffee, or tea.  The results showed a 7% reduced risk for diabetes for every cup of coffee, although researchers believe more trials are needed to make the claim that drinking coffee and tea actually protects against diabetes.  Coffee and tea seem to have a postivie impact on blood sugar regulation. 

The inverse relationship betweeen coffee and tea consumption and diabetes risk is promising, and the potential could be great.  At this time the exact phytochemicals in coffee and tea that are responsible for the apparently beneficial result are unidentified.  It could be as simple as the magnesium present in these beverages (as well as fruits, vegetables and many whole foods), which has an impact on diabetes risk, or perhaps it is the result of the synergy of several different phytochemicals.  Regardless, researchers have brought coffee and tea lovers one more reason to enjoy their coffee and tea.

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