Browsing articles in "Recipes"
Apr 23, 2014

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla is a Mexican spiced coffee that is a very enjoyable way to prepare your coffee if you’re looking for a little variety. The coffee is prepared on the stovetop and it is flavored with cinnamon, orange and cloves, and sweetened with piloncillo. Piloncillo is an unrefined Mexican sugar that you can find sold in cones or large chunks at Mexican markets. It has a unique flavor that is somewhere between brown sugar and honey, and while it takes a little bit of work to chop up the block that it comes in, it is well worth the effort.

This coffee is traditionally brewed by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and allowing them to steep together, than straining out the spices when you’re ready to serve it. You can also make it in smaller batches in a french press, but I find that it is easies to make it the traditional way because nothing gets caught in the mesh of my french press. With the saucepan method, you can also easily taste your coffee and adjust the sugar level to taste, as piloncillo is quite sweet and you may find that you don’t want quite as much in your brew.
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Apr 10, 2014

Blackberry White Chocolate Mocha

Blackberry White Chocolate Mocha

Raspberries and white chocolate are a combination that you’ll see often, both in desserts and in coffee drinks. Raspberries have a bright, sweet-tart flavor that is a good match for sweet, creamy white chocolate. They’re not the only berry that is a good match for white chocolate, however. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries all play well with white chocolate. In this case, I used fresh blackberries to make a Blackberry White Chocolate Mocha. It’s a unusual – but delicious – change of pace from a raspberry drink and it’s especially good as blackberries are coming into season.

The drink is built with fresh blackberry purée and white chocolate. You can purée your blackberries in the food processor and then strain them to remove all the pulp and seeds from the fruit. This will leave you with a smooth, beautifully colored purée that can be added directly to your drink. I combined the purée with white chocolate (you might need to add a little sugar, depending on how see your berries are) and added hot coffee. The coffee is hot enough to melt the chocolate, so I just let it sit for a few minutes before stirring it to combine all the ingredients and topping it off with milk. You can use either coffee or espresso in this drink with good results.

I finished my mocha off with a couple of homemade Blackberry Marhmallows, which are also flavored with fresh blackberry purée. I highly recommend making a batch, but in lieu of that, you can top this drink off with regular marshmallows or whipped cream, and add a touch of leftover blackberry purée for extra flavor.
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Mar 31, 2014

Chai Tea Muffins with Chai Streusel

Chai Tea Muffins with Chai Streusel

Both coffee and tea pair very well with freshly baked, homemade muffins, but they don’t usually make their way into the muffins themselves. Coffee cake and coffee cake muffins, for instance, are not coffee flavored – they are just meant to pair with coffee. Coffee and tea can both be fantastic flavors for baked goods, muffins included, and you’ll get plenty of tea in these Chai Tea Muffins with Chai Streusel.

The muffins are made with strong chai tea, which gives them a black tea and spice flavor. I recommend brewing double or triple strenght chai tea for this recipe so that you get as much tea flavor as possible. That being said, the muffins are also packed with chai spices, like cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cardamom to ensure that you get a well-rounded chai flavor in every bite. They’re moist, tender and topped off with a spiced streusel topping that adds a nice buttery crunch, as well as a little extra spice.

As you might expect, these pair extremely well with a cup of hot chai tea or with a chai tea latte, but they also pair well with a regular cup of coffee.

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Mar 14, 2014

Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino

Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino

Thin Mints are the best selling Girl Scout cookie and they make up 25% of all Girl Scout Cookies sales. They have just the right combination of chocolate and mint in a crispy cookie to be addictive. Their flavor is actually pretty unique and that makes Thin Mints very recognizable. I often use Thin Mints in baking recipes and decided to turn them into a refreshing coffee drink this time around – and the result is my Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino. It’s an ice blended coffee drink that is packed with Thin Mint flavor – and actual Thin Mint cookies!

All of the chocolate flavor in the drink actually comes from the cookies. Thin Mints are a little more minty than they are chocolaty, so putting too much chocolate into the drink just turns this into an ordinary, but minty, mocha. The crispy cookies add just the right amout of chocolate flavor, and I added a little extra peppermint extract to boost the mintiness of the cookies. It’s a little sweet and surprisingly refreshing for an indulgent iced coffee drink! Don’t hesitate to splurge and add a dollop of whipped cream on top before serving.

If you want to enjoy this drink and it’s not Girl Scout cookie season, you can easily substitute for the Thin Mint cookies. Keebler makes a cookie called a Grasshopper that is almost identical to the Thin Mint, and you can even use plain chocolate wafer cookies or Oreos without the filling with good results.
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