In recent years I have been learning various ways to utilizing coffee in different recipes. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to my coffee-drinking friend, Wilma. For a number of years she has been experimenting with the use of instant coffee in baked goods and desserts. She has had many tips for me from her trial-and-error practice over the years. Wilma’s motivation in trying new ways was born from sprinkling instant coffee into her homemade hot chocolate. She was impressed with the chocolate-coffee combination and decided to try other variations. Soon she began sprinkling instant coffee granules into her homemade granola or even Cheerios for her breakfast.
Since Wilma enjoys cooking and baking, she began revising recipes to suit her coffee taste buds. Thankfully, she is in a large family who is delighted to sample her experimentations, even if they do tease her at times.
Today, I was the fortunate one who had the privilege of sampling a few of her creations. After spending the forenoon at her house chatting and cleaning, we sat down and discussed her coffee recipes. She also gave me a taste of her chocolate chip cookies with coffee in them. Mmmm, I was impressed, I am excited to make some for my husband Daniel. By the way, if you want to give that a try just mix instant coffee granules with the least amount of water possible (just enough to soak up the granules), then stir into your chocolate chip cookie dough as usual. Wilma used 1/2 cup of granules for a recipe that uses 7 cups of flour.
After our coffee chat her mother served a delicious lunch they had cooked for us. Julia and Austin were delighted to sit at their child-sized folding tables to eat their lunch. They kept asking for more as I refilled their plates with their tasty food (It’s really no wonder children go so fast when they eat at that rate, right?) Soon it was time for dessert. You may have already guessed what kind it was: a coffee dessert, of course! A regular vanilla puddings was transformed by adding coffee. Chunks of chocolate chip cookies spread with peanut butter had also been stirred into the pudding, resulting in an outstanding dessert.
Once more Julia and Austin asked for second and third helpings. My mind began reeling, “Perhaps I should make some of this for Daniel to try!” About that time Wilma had put some of her leftover pudding in a container for me to take along home. So thanks to Wilma I have a dessert to go with supper tonight!
Another dessert I am excited to try is Wilma’s homemade ice cream recipe with mocha sauce. Also among my list of favorites is her mocha tapioca. Wilma has already served it at church. Immediately I knew that I had to have that recipe! It’s caramel and coffee flavor was just perfect.
Deciding which recipe to pass on to you is a tough decision. How about trying the coffee tapioca?
If you do experiment with adding coffee to your old-time favorite recipes I have a few little tips I’d like to pass onto you from Wilma. Adding a bit of maple flavoring complements the coffee flavor in many desserts. Also in some cases chocolate and coffee does blend tastefully even though you won’t have a distinct chocolate flavor anymore. In my way of thinking it just makes chocolate taste better!
Use your imagination. Try whipping the straight granules into your ice cream whether it’s homemade or store bought. Have you ever tried sprinkling some into a banana split or onto a piece of chocolate cake swimming in fresh cow’s milk? Be sure to whisk some into your fillings or frostings next time you bake a cake or cookies. If you like the crunchy granules you can stir them directly into your frosting without dissolving first in hot water. Our favorite kind of instant coffee is Taster’s Choice, but any kind will work. Also, we prefer to use decaf coffee, we really don’t need any extra caffeine in our diet!
3 1/2 cups brewed coffee
2/3 seed pearl tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipped topping
Bring brewed coffee to a boil in a 2-quart sauce pan. Whisk in tapioca and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Then add brown sugar. Continue simmering until tapioca pearls are almost clear. Beat egg and milk and sugar together. Pour this mixture into tapioca and bring to a boil. Transfer to Tupperware and cool by setting refrigerator or cool water. When cooled add whipped topping. If desired, add mini-marshmallows, chopped nuts or chunked candy bars of your choice.
Gloria is an Amish mom, housewife and writer in rural Illinois. Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write her at: PO Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042. The Amish Cook has been publishing weekly since 1991. The column’s creator and editor is Kevin Williams. To learn more about the column visit www.amish365.com/about.