Tag Archives: coffee

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake DoughnutsThey say that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent baking over the last four years, but I can tell you that it’s a lot. I’m definitely not an expert yet, but at this point, I can look at cookie dough or cake batter and know if it’s going to bake properly or not. If I am out of an ingredient, I can almost always make substitutions with stuff I have on hand and get a good result. I’m not trying to brag–I’m just saying that experience has taught me a few things.

Want to know one field in which I am decidedly not an expert? Doughnut-making. Oh my goodness. Last year, I posted some Glazed Cream Cheese Cake Doughnuts. They were my first foray into fried dough (except for a time in college where I tried to make doughnuts from prepackaged red velvet cake mix–don’t do that). It took me two batches to get them right. I thought I had this doughnut business nailed.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake DoughnutsWhile my oven was down a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking of recipes I could make without it. My stove still worked, so doughnuts seemed like a good option. I looked at my previous doughnuts, researched chocolate cake doughnuts on the internet, wrote a recipe, and got to work.

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake DoughnutsThe first batch, made with Dutch process cocoa powder, had a good chocolate flavor, but was very dry. For the second batch, I replaced some of the flour with cornstarch and added nutmeg for that “doughnut shop” flavor. Also, I had run out of Dutch process cocoa, so used natural unsweetened. The batch was less dry, but tasted mostly like nutmeg and not at all like chocolate. I knew I had to use Dutch process cocoa in all future attempts, but couldn’t figure out why it was all so dry, so I hung up my frying spider for a few days.

Wednesday afternoon, it hit me: I had been using butter as the fat in my doughnuts. Butter is 84% fat and 15% water. Water evaporates. Cocoa powder dries things out by nature. If I wanted an edible doughnut, I’d have to use oil in the dough, just like I use oil in my chocolate cake recipe. I came home from work, put together a soft dough with oil and buttermilk and refrigerated it overnight. Thursday morning, I rolled and cut the dough into doughnuts, heated some shortening (it leaves less of an aftertaste than canola oil), and got to frying. I finished them off with a dip in a coffee glaze.

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake DoughnutsCoffee Glazed Chocolate Cake DoughnutsI may not ever become an expert at making doughnuts, but with this recipe in my back pocket I’m okay with that. The doughnuts themselves have a moderate chocolate flavor that might not be anything special with a plain glaze, but paired with this coffee glaze, they’re really delicious. Chocolate and coffee are a dream team, bringing out the best in each other. Plus, nothing goes with a doughnut quite like coffee.

Making homemade doughnuts may seem like a daunting task (and to some degree, it is), but they’re a fun treat to make every once in a while. It’s like having a breakfast time party trick. Sure, you could make French toast or pancakes or scones this weekend, but maybe you should change it up and make Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts instead. And then invite me over. I’ll bring the coffee.Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
Glaze adapted from Handle the Heat
makes about 2 dozen small doughnuts and doughnut holes

Chocolate Cake Doughnuts:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (not natural unsweetened)
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable shortening (or neutral-flavored oil), for frying

Coffee Glaze:
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (or brown rice syrup)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 fl oz strong hot coffee (I used decaf)

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, nutmeg, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together oil and sugar until sandy. Add eggs and egg yolk one by one, whisking after each addition. Stir in vanilla and buttermilk. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the dry ingredients until a sticky dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour (or overnight).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set two cooling racks over wax paper.

On a heavily floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter or graduated cookie cutters to cut doughnuts. Re-roll as necessary. Lay cut doughnuts and doughnut holes on prepared baking sheet.

Place vegetable shortening in a large heavy pot. Heat shortening until it reaches 350F. Add cut doughnuts in batches of three or four. Let fry about 1.5-2 minutes per side. Remove cooked doughnuts to prepared racks. Continue frying until all doughnuts and doughnut holes have been cooked.

Make the glaze. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and salt. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and coffee, and continue whisking until smooth. Dip doughnuts and doughnut holes one at a time before placing back on the cooling racks. Let glaze set for twenty minutes before enjoying. Doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made.

Coffee Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee

 Every night, before I go to bed, I make coffee. No, not to enjoy right then–it’s for the next morning.

I don’t have any sort of fancy pot that has a timer, and woodland creatures don’t come all the way to Brooklyn to click any buttons. No, all I need is a mason jar, some cheesecloth, and a functional refrigerator to have my coffee ready to go the minute I wake up! 

Have you ever had cold brew coffee? I love it. The rich flavor and lack of acidity are absolutely divine on any summer day. A few years ago, I got really into making my own cold brew, but I hated pushing it through cheesecloth and a fine-mesh sieve to remove the grounds (and still finding some in my glass anyway). And all the methods I had seen at the time involved making enough for an army. I am one woman with eight pounds of butter and four dozen eggs in my fridge at all times–I don’t need two gallons of coffee in there too.

For the last several years, I have resorted to purchasing iced coffee twice a day (which adds up quickly) or making a warm pot of coffee and then letting it come to room temperature before pouring it over ice. The coffee itself was fine, but I longed for the deeper flavor of cold brew…sans annoying straining step and insane quantity. 

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Julie van Rosendaal, wrote a Facebook post about making cold brew in a mason jar…and all my wildest iced coffee dreams came true. I tried her method that night, and when I went to pour my coffee the next morning, I fell in love. 

The coffee is rich and smooth, absolutely perfect with a little cashew milk (my latest obsession). Her method makes just enough for one morning, so there isn’t any week-old coffee taking up space in the fridge, and the coffee is strained directly from jar-to-glass through a few layers of cheesecloth, so you won’t find any grounds in your glass.

The method is so easy that I’ve made cold brew everyday since! Here’s how I make Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee:  

 I put freshly-ground coffee and water into a quart mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake it up to get everything distributed. I put it in the fridge, and then go straight to bed. 

The grounds steep in the water overnight, and I wake up to a ready-made jar of coffee. 

  All I have to do is exchange the lid for cheesecloth, and pour it into my favorite glass. I used a funnel here since the mouth of my glass is small enough that coffee might go everywhere but where I want it to! 

I add a splash of cashew milk, stir it up, and enjoy the start of the day.

So, take a little time tonight to make some coffee. You can thank me tomorrow. 

 Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee
from Julie van Rosendaal
makes 3 cups

2/3 cup ground coffee
3 cups water

Special Equipment:
1 quart mason jar with lid and screw band
cheesecloth (I use one 8×5-inch piece folded in half)

For Serving:
milk of choice
cream
water

Pour ground coffee into the bottom of a quart mason jar. Fill with three cups of water. Put on the lid and screw band and shake to distribute coffee grounds. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

Remove lid and screw band. Coffee will have risen to the top of the jar and look muddy. Stir with a table knife or long spoon. Place four layers of cheesecloth over the top of the jar, making sure that there are no open gaps at the edges. Screw on screw band.

Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour coffee through the cheesecloth into the glass until it is 2/3 full. Fill the glass the rest of the way with milk or cream, or water for black cold brew. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

 We are officially halfway through Twelve Days of Cookies! Today’s recipe is sure to please all your coffee-loving friends and family: Peppermint Mocha Cookies! These cookies have all the flavors of your favorite holiday specialty coffee, no silly red cup required. Chocolate roll-out cookies spiked with espresso and peppermint, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies? Sign me up! Let’s make some holiday cookie magic.

 These cookies start with a souped-up chocolate roll-out cookie dough. Mix together flour, cocoa powder, granulated espresso, baking powder, and salt. In this recipe, you may use any kind of cocoa powder that you have on hand–both natural and Dutch Process will work well here. I like to use a combination of the two: six tablespoons of natural cocoa, six tablespoons of Dutch Process. Whatever you choose to do, these cookies will be out-of-this-world chocolaty. After you’ve whisked together the dry ingredients, it’s time to cream some butter. Then add in 1/2 cup each of granulated sugar and light brown sugar. The light brown sugar keeps these cookies slightly softer than your average chocolate roll-out, thanks to the moisture from the molasses. Next add one room temperature egg, followed by vanilla and peppermint extracts. I’ve mentioned previously that peppermint extract is potent, but it warrants a reminder. This recipe calls for only 1/2 teaspoon of the stuff, and that is plenty. Don’t be tempted to add more, or your cookies may taste a lot like your toothpaste…but with a kick of mocha. No, thank you. Add dry ingredients to wet in three installments, frequently scraping down the bowl. The mixed dough may look a little like clumpy play-doh.

 Now for my favorite thing about this recipe: there’s no chilling required! This dough is ready to bake as soon as it’s mixed. Just turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it with your hands for a minute or two. That clumpy texture should quickly give way to a smoother dough, excellent for rolling. Re-flour your surface and a rolling pin, and then roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough. Place cut dough on parchment-lined sheet pans. Don’t worry too much about spreading–these cookies barely spread at all! Bake 8-10 minutes at 350F, until the tops no longer look raw. Let them cool on the baking pans for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.   Now, let’s melt some chocolate. You’ll need eight ounces of pure white chocolate. Don’t be tempted to use white chocolate chips–the stabilizers in them will likely keep the coating from melting evenly. Add a touch of coconut oil. White chocolate can have difficulty re-solidifying after it’s been melted. The coconut oil, which solidifies at 76F, will help the white chocolate to set at room temperature. And don’t worry–the coconut oil will not make your cookies taste like coconut. Melt your white chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it is smooth. Place your cooling racks over some sheets of wax paper to keep your counters from getting covered in white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy. Now, take one cookie at a time and dip it halfway into the white chocolate mixture. Let some of the excess run off before laying it on the rack. Take some crushed peppermints and sprinkle them over the melted chocolate, and then repeat with all the remaining cookies. Leave the finished cookies at cool room temperature for a couple of hours to set the white chocolate. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the cookies briefly to set. Once the chocolate can be touched without coming off on your finger, they’re ready to eat!

Peppermint Mocha Cookies are so cute, your friends and family won’t be able to resist them! Between the minty mocha-flavored cookies and the white chocolate dip sprinkled with peppermints, these will be some of the most festive treats on your holiday table! These would also be perfect for food gifting to the coffee-obsessed friend in your life (everybody has at least one). No matter where you take them, they’re guaranteed to be a hit!

Need more Twelve Days of Cookies? Check out my recipes for Red Velvet Peppermintdoodles, Eggnog Sandwich Cookies, Whipped Shortbread Snowballs, Apple Cider Snaps, and Oreo-Stuffed Andes Peppermint Crunch Cookies! And there are six more recipes to come before Christmas. Make sure to check back soon 😊 Peppermint Mocha Cookies
makes about three dozen cookies

Cookies:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
2 1/2 tablespoons (7 1/2 teaspoons) espresso granules*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

White Chocolate Dip:
8 oz pure white chocolate*
1 teaspoon coconut oil*
12 starlight peppermints, crushed*

Start by making the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two sheet pans with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso granules, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. When butter is fluffy and lighter in color, beat in sugars. Beat in egg, followed by extracts. Add dry ingredients to wet in three installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes with clean hands. If the dough seems too sticky, knead in flour in 1 tablespoon increments. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Set cut cookies on prepared pans. Bake 8-10 minutes, until no longer shiny. Let cookies cool on the pans for five minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking until all dough has been used.

Prepare the White Chocolate Dip. In a double-boiler or the microwave, melt white chocolate and coconut oil, stirring frequently. Dip cooled cookies halfway into the white chocolate mixture before setting them on a rack. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies over the white chocolate. Repeat dipping and sprinkling with all cookies. Let cookies sit at room temperature until set, or briefly refrigerate cookies to set.

Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Notes:

1. I use a mixture of 6 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder and 6 tablespoons Dutch Process cocoa powder. You may use all of one kind, if you choose. Use whatever you have on hand.
2. I use Medaglia d’Oro granulated espresso. Instant coffee may also be used.
3. I use Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Chocolate Bars, which can be found at Target and many grocery stores.
4. Shortening may be substituted for the coconut oil.
5. Crushed candy canes may also be used, although I’m not sure how many you will need.

Peppermint Mocha Cookies