In part one of our series on cooking with coffee beans, we went over chocolate covered coffee beans, coffee butter, and coffee braises. Here in part two, we’ll be discussing a couple recipes that will give you a chance to make use of your chocolate covered beans or coffee butter if you have some available! As before, you can use your favorite coffee beans to cook with, as quality ingredients make quality dishes. You can easily find high quality coffee beans that are not ground at most coffee shops. If you have never made any of these before and want an in-depth recipe, there are plenty of cookbooks that can be great for beginners. We hope this gives you some ideas on where to start!
Coffee Bacon & Jerky
One of the most popular items on the menu at our North LBJ location is our Java Bacon™. It is a delicious combination of something savory (bacon) with something rich and full-flavored (coffee beans). While the exact blend of beans and roasts we use for our Java Bacon™ is a closely guarded secret, you can make your own coffee bacon at home with any beans you have available!
Making the Bacon
To make coffee bacon, lightly glaze the bacon with grease and add the grounds to it (you can use fully-ground beans or a mixture of half whole beans and half ground). Try adding cola to complement the sweetness and add some acidity as well. Coffee beans and cola can also add a new dimension to jerky, which is very often only offered in a limited range of flavors. The best part about coffee jerky is that it can be saved for later!
Adding some Spice
To add a little bit of spice, you can use a cooking paste like sambal oelek (check the ethnic food section of your store). This combined with the cola and the grounds can be cooked down into a syrup you can then apply to the outside of the jerky, lightly heating it to make sure it sticks. You can add a small amount of salt if you wish. You can also just use the cola and the coffee along with red peppers if you want some spice on the bacon or jerky itself. This makes for a great pick-me-up on a long trip, as you get not only the heat from the peppers but also the caffeine and sugar from the cola and coffee.
Another great culinary use for coffee beans is coffee doughnuts. These can feature coffee grounds as a topping, or you can mix the grounds into the doughnut itself if you are starting from sweet dough and going from there. The best and most effective option, however, is to make a coffee glaze and add it to a chocolate doughnut.
Making the Doughnuts
This can be as simple as buying a doughnut from your preferred place and making the glaze at home. Take confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder (optional), milk, and strong coffee, then boil the mixture down and add nuts or sprinkles on top if you wish. The best tasting version of this recipe is always going to be homemade doughnuts with the coffee beans mixed into the dough and a coffee glaze on top. But if you just want something easy to make, a store bought doughnut will do.
Combined with your favorite coffee drink on the side, coffee doughnuts can make for a great breakfast experience. The glaze can also be used on lots of things like ham and other sweets, helping to create a unique flavor profile when you really want to set your dishes apart. Your culinary imagination is the limit!