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.
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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A tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert made with ladyfingers soaked in espresso and layered together with rich cream. It’s known as a “pick me up” because of all the coffee that is used in the recipe, though it never hurts to get a little bit more coffee into the picture. I recently picked up a container of Breyer’s Tiramisu Gelato, which is new flavor from the ice cream maker. It definitely captures that coffee and cream tiramisu flavor, but it also has pieces of ladyfingers in it to give it a little texture and to really tie it in with traditional tiramisu. I decided that this gelato was a great candidate for one of my favorite coffee desserts, the affogato.
I simply placed a scoop of the gelato into a small dish, dusted it with cocoa powder and poured a shot of hot espresso over the top. I added the cocoa powder because tiramisus are traditionally finished with a dusting of cocoa powder, and you’ll get a nice chocolate aroma when you pour the espresso over it. When I took a taste, I still got the cream flavor from the ice cream, but the coffee stood out even more. Those pieces of ladyfingers also kept their texture while soaking up espresso and melted ice cream, for a dessert that tasted rich and like it took a lot more time to make than it really did!
You can get a similar effect by using half a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato and half a scoop of coffee if you don’t have or can’t find the tiramisu gelato, though that is the way to go if you have it in your local market. I highly recommend picking up some ladyfingers to serve alongside your affogato, since extra ladyfingers are perfect for soaking up the affogato as it melts.
There really is no such thing as a leftover chocolate truffle, because those indulgent chocolate treats are just too delicious to turn down. But there are times when you might find that you have more truffles than you can eat (in one sitting, anyway) on hand, such as after Valentine’s Day or after a big candy sale at your favorite store. Those excess chocolate truffles are the perfect base to use for a delicious Leftover Chocolate Truffle Mocha. The chocolate in the truffles easily melts with hot coffee, adding a lot of chocolate flavor and a little bit of sweetness to a decadent coffee drink that can be enjoyed with or without truffles on the side.
You can use either chocolate covered chocolate truffles or the cocoa-dusted variety to make this drink. The most important thing is that they should be high quality truffles – the kind have a velvety smooth melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more – because a great chocolate truffle is going to make for a great coffee drink. If you are using the chocolate covered truffles, you may need to give them a little extra time in the coffee so that they can melt completely before stirring them in. As always, adjust this recipe to your own tastes by using more truffles (for a thicker, “drinking chocolate” feel) or by adding a little extra sugar to sweeten it up if your truffles are an intense, dark chocolate to start out with. There is no wrong way to make it because it will always taste so right when you drink it.
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