Archive for the ‘Coffee’ Category

How to make coffee cookies from scratch

December 23, 2012 Leave a comment

The following is cross-posted from our coffee blog because it’s a perfect fit here, too.

At the end of November/beginning of December, I spent a couple weeks seeing coffee and coffee people in Chiapas, the southern-most state of Mexico.  With the exception of a dinner in an American chain hotel the night of my arrival, it’s safe to say I didn’t have a bad meal on the entire trip, and some of the things I ate were just magnificent. Among other things, the country is replete with fabulous baked goods.

I have a bit of an irrational love for certain cookies, but it’s a really narrow range.  Your garden-variety chocolate chip (or even so-called “gourmet” chocolate chips) just doesn’t do it for me.  For me, cookies need to be small, thin and crisp, for starters.  They also need to be simple, but flavorful.  A really well-done sugar cookie, or a ginger snap, is the kind of cookie I like.  At Carajillo Cafe in San Cristobal de las Casas, I had what may be the prefect cookie for me: a coffee cookie.  It was a good size (bordering on too large, but not really over the limit), with a crisp texture and a foundation of butterscotch.  The coffee was subtle, enhanced by a decorative bean on the cookie.  As cookies go, on a 100-point scale, this one was about a 90 for me.  I was determined to replicate it when I got home.

This is the cookie that grabbed my attention. I ate half the plate before it occurred to me to photograph them.

Without a recipe to guide me, I had to go through some trial and error to come up with a coffee cookie that beat the one in Mexico, but after the third attempt I finally nailed it.  Here’s the recipe:

Coffee Cookies – makes 60 small cookies

0.5lb (2 sticks) butter, room temp
1-1/4c brown sugar
1 whole egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/4c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 TBSP very finely ground coffee
60 coffee beans

Cream together butter, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs.  Mix flour, salt and baking powder.  Combine butter and flour mixtures till they are a dough. Roll in 10 gram balls (a little bigger than a teaspoon), place 24 per sheet. Press each cookie flat with palm.  Sift ground coffee onto cookie, place one bean in center.  Bake at 350F for 17-20 minutes.

The variation between my attempts was really due more to technique than ingredients or proportions.  In the final analysis, three things really mattered:

  1. Giving the dough balls a little flatten with your palm changes how the cookie finishes;
  2. Use a sifter of some sort to sprinkle the coffee evenly on the dough after flattening (I used a small screen colander-style strainer), so not try to do it by pinching with your fingers like a pinch of salt;
  3. Baking duration – it took longer than I thought it would to achieve the degree of crispness desired.  Your oven may vary, but 15 minutes was definitely not enough @350F in mine.  I did one batch at 17 min and another at 20 min and didn’t note much difference between them, but there was a huge difference between 15 and 17 minutes.

Here’s the finished product:

My very own coffee cookies.

We hope these cookies make your list of holiday favorites!

To be consistent with other posts on this blog, here’s the rough cost info:

Butter, $3; Flour, $0.40; Eggs, $0.60; Brown Sugar, $0.80; Coffee, $0.25; Other, $0.25.  Total $5.30.  Made 60 cookies, so $0.09 per cookie.  I consider a serving to be 2 cookies, so $0.18 per serving.

Categories: Baking, Coffee, Recipes Tags: ,

Introducing the Java Joe Sandwich

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

NOTE: This is a cross-post from our coffee blog, one of those topics that fits equally well into both blogs.

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so the saying goes.  Turns out it’s true, as I discovered once again Saturday morning.

Here’s Farmer Tim whipping up a batch of Java Joe Sandwiches. I love Tim – he’s like the perfect combination of Dilbert and The Marlboro Man

Every Saturday morning, we venture out to farmer’s markets around the area to sell coffee.  While we’ve come to like something about each of those markets, it’s safe to say that the Western Wake Farmer’s Market has become all of our favorites.  One reason for that is we get to set up next to Grandview Farms, purveyors of fine grass-fed, grain-finished beef (contrary to the preferences of so many “Neuvo  Foodies” running around these days, I prefer my cattle finished on grain).  Tim has established a bit of a tradition with the vendors that adjoin his freezer-filled butcher shop on wheels by cooking up burgers for all of us around 11 AM.  When we launched Muddy Dog Coffee BBQ Dry Rub this past summer, he started seasoning the burgers with our rub.  We thought it couldn’t get any better than that.  We were wrong.

This past Saturday was a miserable market day, there’s just no other way to say it.  The unpleasantness of a steady, cold rain was compounded only by the fact that we were loaded down with twice as much inventory as normal since this was to be the day of the WWFM craft sale, too.  All of this is simply an elaborate excuse for the fact that Tim forgot to thaw the burgers.

So at 11, we were cold, hungry, and without our usual lunch. But that fast thinkin’ Tim is a  farmer, after all, and they are an adaptive breed prone to improvisation of all types.  And so it was on this cold, rainy Saturday that Tim invented the Java Joe Sandwich.  We were gonna call it the Mudwich, but we thought that to be a less appealing name, and figured that those fellas over at Manwich might have a problem with it, too.

The Java Joe Sandwich is a thing of beauty: a loose-meat (aka “sloppy joe”) sandwich made with Tim’s ground beef, our BBQ rub, and water.  Nothing else.  No cans to open.  No ingredients you can’t pronounce.  Just pure beef and coffee rub.  And as we discovered Saturday, you don’t even need to thaw the beef.  One pound frozen beef into a skillet.  Four or five tablespoons of rub.  Keep adding water as the whole thing cooks, up to maybe a cup or a little more.  That’s it!  And you wind up with a delicious sandwich.  It doesn’t get better than this.  Till it does.

Java Joe Sandwich. A thing of beauty.

Halloween Blend 2010 from Muddy Dog Roasting Co.

Rather than go into detail here, I’m just going to link to the Muddy Dog Roasting Co. blog for you to get the details on the 2010 Halloween Blend.  Suffice it to say it’s a big, earthy, dark roasted coffee, offered only in October.  Give it a try, this year’s version is better than ever.