Starbucks launched its coffee empire 40 years ago, in a teeny space at Seattle’s Pike Place market. In the decades since they’ve come a long way, baby. Their green siren (a Norse two-tailed mermaid) logo is so recognizable its new 2011 inception requires no words.
Besides the logo being revamped, the siren herself got a mini makeover for the new year, updating her 20 year-old look.
“We enhanced her form in subtle ways, smoothing her hair, refining her facial features, weighting the scales on her tail to bring the focus to her face,” says Mike P. senior creative manager, on the Starbucks website, where CEO Howard Schultz appears in a video explaining their new updated look. She’ll be helping celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary by making an appearance in over 16,000 neighbourhoods, in over 50 countries worldwide.
If your new years’ resolutions include spending less money on coffee, you can bring the flavor of Starbucks into your own kitchen by whizzing together your own Java Chip Frappuccino, or making your own flavored syrups. (And if you’re a Starbucks coffee fanatic, Starbucks VIA instant packets are pretty close to the real brew.) If you need a little something to go with your coffee, try Shaina’s copycat glazed maple oat nut scones, or Kelsey’s Starbucks copycat petite vanilla bean scones.
And if you need something to dunk in your coffee, try this basic biscotti – customize it according to your taste. Try flavoring the dough with different extracts, grated ginger or citrus zest or spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, and additions such as dried fruit, nuts and chocolate. You can come up with your own signature biscotti.
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until almost combined; add any additions you want and stir just until blended. If it seems dry, use your hands to complete the mixing as the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide in half and shape each piece into an 8″ long log. Place the logs 2″—3″ apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and flatten each into a rectangle that is about 3″ wide.
Bake for 20—25 minutes, until firm and starting to crack on top. Transfer the logs to a wire rack to cool for a bit and reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.
When they’re cool enough to handle (they tend to crumble when they’re still hot), place the logs on a cutting board, trim the ends and cut each log diagonally into 1/2″—3/4″ slices with a serrated knife. Place the slices upright on the cookie sheet, spacing them about 1/2″ apart so that there’s room for the air to circulate between them, and return to the oven for 30 minutes. If you like, turn the heat off and leave the biscotti inside the oven until it cools down to make them even harder.
Makes 2 dozen biscotti.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks.com