Try a new way to enjoy your cup of joe

Coffee adds a smoky taste and complex flavor to main dishes, breakfast treats and desserts

There’s nothing like the smell of coffee brewing, and the variety of coffee drinks seems endless.

But on National Coffee Day — Thursday, Sept. 29 — do  more than just drink your cup of joe.

Try coffee and its many forms in your meals as well.

Coffee can be used in cooking and baking. It’s a natural paired with chocolates and in desserts but can also be used to add a smoky flavor and distinct taste to main dishes.

It makes a tasty rub for meats, often combined with peppers.

In cooking, coffee should be treated as a spice. Lighter roasts are more delicate but also more acidic, while darker ones are robust, toasty and strong, allowing coffee to hold its own against other strong flavors.

Ground coffee is often used in recipes. For the finest flavor, grind the coffee beans just before you use them.

The fact that coffee is roasted is the key thing to remember, because it allows coffee to work with toasted ingredients such as chocolate, caramel and nuts.

Following are coffee-related recipes from and


Coffee Bacon Sandwiches


For bacon:

8 slices uncooked bacon

1/4 cup freshly ground coffee

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon water

For the spread:

4 ounces goat cheese

4 medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For sandwich:

Fresh baby spinach leaves

Crusty, toasted bread


Lay bacon slices atop one another so that the fat is on top.  Place bacon on top of a piece of plastic wrap or brown butcher paper.

In a small bowl, stir together ground coffee, chili powder, brown sugar, molasses and water.  Spread mixture on top of the bacon slices, pressing with the back of a spoon. Wrap the bacon and coffee in plastic wrap or butcher paper and refrigerate for two to 24 hours. You may want to put the mixture in a large sealable bag.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the bacon slices in a single layer on the paper.  If desired, wipe some of the coffee marinade off before baking.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 14 to 17 minutes, until browned and crisp.  Remove from the oven and drain on paper towels.

In a medium bowl, mash goat cheese, pitted dates, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and red pepper flakes with a fork until well incorporated.  Add a touch more lemon juice or olive oil to reach your desired consistency.

Spread goat cheese mixture on buttered and toasted bread.  Top with coffee bacon and fresh spinach.  Serve immediately.



Pressure Cooker Short Ribs


2 pounds short ribs

1 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 dried ancho chile peppers

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 cup brewed coffee

1 cup red wine

1 cup beef stock

1/4 cup shoyu or soy sauce

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

For salad:

2 cups chopped spinach

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Set your pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Once hot, place chiles in the pan and toast two to three minutes on each side, until dry and fragrant. Roughly chop them.

Heat canola oil in the pressure cooker, then sprinkle the short ribs evenly with salt. Sear ribs about three minutes per side, until browned. Remove and place on a plate.

Add the onions to the pot and cook three to five minutes, until they start becoming translucent. Return short ribs to the pressure cooker and add remaining ingredients.

Affix the pressure cooker lid. Once the steam valve locks, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let the steam valve come down, then release the pressure.

Carefully open the lid, pulling it towards you so that the steam escapes away from your face.

Cook, uncovered, over medium heat to reduce the liquid.

To make salad, whisk olive oil and lemon juice, then toss with spinach and shallots.

Serve short ribs over polenta, spaetzle, couscous or mashed potatoes with the salad.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, use a large oven-safe pot. When cooking, cover the pot and bake in a 250 degree oven for two to three hours, turning the ribs occasionally.



Mexican Hot Cocoa Cake


1-3/4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 cup hot-chocolate mix

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup oil

1 cup coffee, room temperature

For whipped cream:

2 cups whipping cream

A few tablespoons sugar

Dash cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Shaved chocolate


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, hot-chocolate mix, cayenne, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, oil and coffee.

Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ones, one-third at a time, whisking to incorporate between each addition.

Arrange eight eight-ounce Mason jars on a sheet tray. Carefully pour 1/2 cup batter into each jar. Place the tray in a 300-degree oven and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cakes will overflow a little then collapse.

Whip the cream with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until peaks are formed. Top each cake with the whipped cream and dust with chocolate shavings. Serve warm or cover the cake and refrigerate until you serve.

The cakes will stay good in the fridge for about a week.

Makes eight to 10 cakes.



Gingerbread Pancakes


2 eggs

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup brewed coffee, cold or room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add buttermilk, coffee and 1/2 cup water. Stir in vegetable oil.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined— don’t worry if there are a few lumps.

Lightly grease a large sauté pan or griddle with nonstick spray. Heat until hot and then ladle 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Cook about three minutes, until the tops look dull and a few of the bubbles pop, turn and cook another minute or so.

Serve immediately or transfer to an ovenproof dish and keep in a warm oven until the entire batch is finished. Serve with butter and syrup.

Makes 16 pancakes.


Espresso Waffles With Mocha Sauce


1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1⁄4 cup strongly-brewed coffee

4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

3⁄4 cup flour

1⁄4 cup almond flour

1 tablespoons instant espresso powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing

3 large eggs, separated


In a small saucepan, bring sweetened condensed milk and coffee to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the chocolate and let stand two minutes. Whisk until smooth and keep warm.

In a large bowl, whisk both flours with espresso powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk milk with the butter and egg yolks until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Scrape into the batter and fold until evenly combined.

Heat a waffle iron. Lightly grease the waffle iron, then spread 1⁄3 cup batter over three-quarters of the surface of the iron. Cook four to five minutes, until the waffle is brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate and cook the remaining waffles, brushing the iron with butter between each batch.

Drizzle each waffle with some of the mocha sauce and garnish with almonds before serving.



A Little Jolt Dry Rub


1⁄4 cup finely ground coffee

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1-1⁄2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1-1⁄2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1-1⁄2 teaspoons granulated garlic

1-1⁄2 teaspoons granulated onion

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Mix all ingredients until combined. The rub will stay stored in an airtight container as long as three months.



Dusty Bliss Chocolate Espresso Cookies


3⁄4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1⁄4 cup instant espresso

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1-2⁄3 cups finely chopped pecans

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted


In a large bowl, beat sugar with espresso powder and butter on medium speed of a hand mixer about three minutes, until fluffy. Add egg, beating well until smooth, then beat in bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. Add flour and beat on low until the dough just comes together, then stir in one cup pecans.

Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1-1⁄2-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet two inches apart. Press each cookie gently with the palm of your hand to flatten, then bake in a 375-degree oven about 10 minutes, until set. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Pour melted semisweet chocolate into a bowl. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate, then dredge in the remaining pecans. Transfer dipped cookies to parchment paper and let the melted chocolate set before serving.




Coffee Soy Marinated Flank Steak


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 cup strong coffee

1 cup soy sauce

1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon crushed red chile flakes

1⁄2 tablespoon dried oregano

Kosher salt, to taste

1 2-pound flank steak


Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and cook 12 to 15 minutes, until slightly caramelized, then transfer to a bowl. Whisk in coffee, soy, Worcestershire, vinegar, chile flakes, oregano and salt. Reserve one cup marinade. Add steak to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. Bank coals or turn burner off on one side. Remove steak from marinade and grill about 10 minutes, flipping once, until browned. Baste with reserved marinade, turning as needed, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, to desired doneness. If outside starts to burn before steak is cooked, move to cooler section of grill until done.

Rest steak 10 minutes, then slice thinly on the bias and serve.




Irish Coffee Soda Bread


2 cups flour, plus more for dusting

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1⁄4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1-1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1-1⁄2 cups buttermilk

1⁄4 cup Irish whiskey

3 tablespoons instant espresso powder

1 large egg, lightly beaten


In a large bowl, whisk flours, brown sugar, salt and baking soda to combine. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into the dry ingredients until only pea-sized pieces remain.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, whiskey, espresso powder and egg until smooth. Pour buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, fold together until a shaggy dough begins to form.

Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface, then gather any crumbs and knead the dough a few times to bring it together into a loosely formed ball.

Transfer loaf to a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper and, using a serrated knife, cut a cross about 1/2-inch deep and six inches long, into the top.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 40 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking 20 to 25 minutes, until bread is puffed and evenly browned. Let cool completely before slicing or tearing.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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