10 ways to use coffee in your cooking

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10 ways to use coffee in your cooking

Every coffee lover eventually reaches the point where their morning mug just isn’t enough. If you’ve come to this stage, it’s time to start incorporating coffee into your everyday cooking. Not only will you enjoy the flavor, but you’ll also wring every last use out of your java! If you’re ready to get creative with your coffee, here are 10 great ideas.

1. Baked Desserts

Is there anything better than the taste of coffee and chocolate? The next time that you’re making cakes, brownies or doughnuts, add a splash of liquid coffee to your mixing bowl. The flavor will spread throughout the dessert while it bakes, and the result will be a heavenly union between chocolate and caffeine.

2. Glazes

What do you get when you combine things like cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and coffee? A delicious coffee glaze, that’s what! Just mix your ingredients in a bowl and use the back of your spoon to spread them over your pork chops and chicken breasts. Then cook your dish like normal. The glaze will come out sweet, smokey and absolutely perfect.

3. Gravy

If you’ve never heard of “red-eye gravy,” now is your chance to experience enlightenment. A staple of southern cuisine, it’s made with a combination of black coffee and the dripping leftovers of pan-fried sausage or ham. You can also add flour to thicken it and make tasty country gravy. However you choose to make it, it’ll definitely be a flavor with a kick.

4. Marinades

The best thing about a coffee marinade is that it can be made with the dregs of the pot, so if there’s anything left in your coffee maker late in the afternoon, don’t throw it away! Use it for a marinade instead. You can soak everything from bacon to short ribs in your deliciously tangy coffee mixture.

5. Rubs

Perfect for meat lovers, a coffee rub can be created with your desired mix of salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and filtered coffee grounds. You can also throw in some cocoa powder for a mocha-inspired flavor. Just make sure that your rub remains dry; if it gets sticky or tacky, it will become a glaze, and that has different cooking requirements than a rub.

6. Coffee Bits

Speaking of bacon, did you know that you can use coffee grounds like bacon bits? Just sprinkle them over your dish before baking; they’ll blacken nicely and give your meal a good crunch. You can also bake your grounds on their own cookie sheet before spreading them over cold desserts like ice cream. The sky is the limit when it comes to coffee bits; much like bacon bits, they make everything tastier.

7. Frosting

This is especially great for office parties where you’ve been assigned to bring the cupcakes. Instead of buying it pre-packaged, make your own frosting at home; then use coffee to give it a little extra “oomph.” All you have to do is switch out the milk in your recipe for a cup of espresso. The frosting (icing) will still have its regular, dominant taste of chocolate or vanilla, but it’ll have a bit of a kick in the aftermath.

8. Sauces

Coffee will caramelize with the right combination of temperatures and ingredients, so don’t be afraid to add a little of your morning brew to your barbecue sauce. You’ll make a beautiful golden-brown hybrid that will sing to your palette with every bite. You can do the same with other sauces, too.

9. Ice Cubes

If you’ve ever made popsicles out of Kool-Aid, this is the same principle. Simply pour some liquid coffee into an ice cube tray and stick it in the freezer. The result will be solid, coffee-flavored ice cubes that you can add to drinks, smoothies and frozen desserts. The coffee taste will only get stronger as the ice cubes melt.

10. Seasoning

Take home first place during your local chili-making contest when you add a little coffee to the mix. You can also use coffee flakes as seasoning for things like hot cocoa and oatmeal. The trick is to use a delicate hand until you’re sure that you like the flavor; once you’ve tasted your creation and verified that you’re a cooking god or goddess, you can go nuts with your coffee seasoning.

Who knew that coffee could be so versatile? Whether you’re a casual espresso drinker or a take-no-prisoners caffeine addict with a latte order the size of a small country, use these tips to incorporate your favorite java flavors into your everyday cooking.

By Dennies John.

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