Last week, cialis Rick and I found out that our neighbors’ dog, Sydney, had passed away. We were devastated – not only for the loss of an incredible dog, but also because, to us, this came as a surprise.
When we moved into the neighborhood last February, it took us a while to settle in and meet our neighbors. Rick and I would wave and smile at anyone in our neighborhood, but it wasn’t until early springtime (when the weather warmed up) that we actually began to connect with them. And Sydney and her “parents” made a lasting impression.
Our relationship with our closest neighbors reminds me of the show Home Improvement. (Ah, nostalgia…) Rick and I were constantly asking Chuck (Sydney’s dad) for advice on lawn care and making conversation over our back fence. Friendly smiles and countless laughs about our dogs were an everyday occasion. And Sydney would always greet us with an enthusiastic bark, a high-speed tail wag and a few whispers of please-pet-me-I’m-so-cute.
Sydney was my favorite dog in the neighborhood (besides our Linus, of course) and she was the bright spot of my evening and weekend yard work sessions. Every time I saw her, I would stop what I was doing, sit on the ground, take her precious face in my hands and tell what a good girl she was. (Chuck always patiently waited for me to get my pets and “lovins” in.) Sydney wasn’t young, by any means, but she seemed so full of life and that made me happy.
When we heard the sad, sad news about Sydney’s passing, I wanted to do something to comfort our neighbors. But nothing I thought of really felt right. A card just wasn’t enough, but flowers seemed inappropriate as well.
The truest way I know how to express my feelings and/or gratitude is through food (and I was certainly grateful for having known Sydney). I decided to make some chocolate cinnamon biscotti for Sydney’s parents. I figured that waking up without Sydney would be the roughest part of the day, and I wanted to make that time a little easier. Pairing the warm flavors of chocolate and cinnamon biscotti with my favorite Kona coffee, I hoped that this would be a recipe for comfort. Life without Sydney won’t be the same for our dear neighbors, but she will always live on in our hearts.
The New Complete Coffee Book, Sara Perry
(Makes 18-20 biscotti)
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3 egg whites
1 to 2 teaspoons water, if needed
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add the room temperature butter and mix until crumbly. Beat in 2 of the egg whites until a soft dough forms, about 1 minutes. (If the dough doesn’t come together, add 1 to 2 teaspoons water. Mine didn’t and I ended up adding the water.) Stir in the walnuts.
With lightly floured hands, gather the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into two 9-inch logs. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly to a 2-inch width.
In a cup or small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg white until foamy. Brush the egg white over the logs and dust with the 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake logs until firm, about 35 minutes. Slide each log onto a wire rack to cool for 8 to 10 minutes.
(If you like your biscotti slightly chewy, disregard the next baking.)
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Transfer a log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice ½-inch-thick diagonal pieces. Place, cut-side down, on the baking sheet, and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining log. Store in a tightly covered container.