Friday, July 8, 2011

Baking with Coffee Beans

I love coffee, it's no secret. Also, my mom's latest life goal is to open a bulk coffee and loose-leaf tea shop, so we're all kind of on a coffee jag lately. There's a coffee and tea shop in Old Town, appropriately named Old Town Coffee, Tea, and Spice, which we're looking to model the place after. I've been twice, and seriously, this place is awesome. There's a wall covered in jars and jars of all sorts of coffees and teas, every kind you could think of and more. As soon as I walked in the first time, one big jar right up front caught my eye; pumpkin spice coffee. One sniff and I was sold. This stuff smells like pumpkin plus Christmas magic plus love, all mixed into the best coffee ever, it's amazing. I want to grind this stuff up and make is into an air freshener!

Yet I only bought a quarter pound. I'm cheap.

Anyway, this stuff is too good to just DRINK, that's boring! I'm a baker, I BAKE! I remembered a site that K-Fowl, a fellow bank geek and coffee junkie, sent me (somewhere in between all the videos of kittens and freakish horn players we swap, we have been known to spam each other's walls on occasion!) talking about how to bake with coffee beans. Hey, I have coffee beans! I can bake! Woohoo!

The concept is simple enough: equal parts coffee beans and milk, put them on the stove at medium-high until they start to boil, remove and cover for 15 minutes, strain, voila!

I used a little more milk than I needed for the recipe, 1 cup each milk and coffee beans made just over 3/4 of a cup of coffee milk which was perfect. You can use this liquid gold in any recipe that calls for milk, with any kind of coffee you want. I'm not quite convinced that the pumpkiny-ness came out very much when I baked it up, but there was a nice little coffee kick in there!

For such a simple little recipe hack, I mean really simple, this was pretty good! I want to research how to get a super coffee flavor in there at some point, but for now, I still have about 1/2 cup of magic pumpkin coffee beans that need to turn into an air freshener! Or I guess I could just make coffee...

Update! So when I first tried my gloriously baked coffee concoction (you'll have to stay tuned to find out what it was!) I couldn't taste a whole lot of coffee. However, I had just had a cup of coffee before, plus they just came out of the oven, plus I have this little habit of munching on coffee beans. Don't judge me, they're like chocolate covered coffee beans without the chocolate, right? So my mouth was a little confused. A few hours and a clean palate later, it's safe to say that you can taste the coffee in there. It's the perfect amount, not overpowering, but it definitely cuts through! Perfect for a coffee loving baker like me!

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