With back to school season starting soon, I think we’ll be needing a bit more coffee to get going! I know I will! I’ve been sleeping in until almost 11 every day during the summer. I’m going to need a behemoth jug just to make it through the first week come September! When Community Coffee told me that I could cook with coffee, I thought “well, now, I just might survive back to school season yet!” They sent me a couple of their flavors to try out so I could experiment with cooking with coffee for myself.

Experiments in Cooking with Community Coffee

Tips for Cooking with Coffee

Before we get into my experiments in cooking with coffee, I have a few really cool tips for you from Community Coffee.

  • The amount and strength of coffee added to a recipe will determine the level of coffee flavor. For mocha or true coffee flavor, add more coffee; for heightening other flavors, add less.
  • If a recipe calls for a liquid form of coffee, you can interchangeably use brewed coffee, strong brewed coffee or espresso.
  • For adding dry forms of coffee, espresso powder, instant espresso, finely-ground coffee or instant coffee granules may be used interchangeably.
  • If you don’t have a coffee grinder but want more finely-ground coffee, place ground coffee (along with other dry ingredients, such as flour or sugar, from the recipe) in a food processor to achieve a smaller coffee particle size.
  • Remember, it’s okay to experiment and add more or less coffee flavor than a recipe states. If you are changing liquid coffee amounts, however, be sure to adjust the other recipe liquids to total the same overall amount.

The third tip was a big surprise to me. I thought you could only use instant coffee. I rarely have that on hand, so I rarely tried cooking with coffee. I make a lot of coffee recipes as far as beverages go, but I never tried baking or cooking with it.

Experiments with Cooking with Coffee

Get a few nifty tips for cooking with coffee, plus see how easy it is to make this delicious (albeit not exactly beautiful)  Caffeinated Brownies!

During my experiments, I used Community Coffee’s Louisiana and Evangeline Blends, both are dark roasts. I’m all about the dark roast, even though I read somewhere that lighter roasts have more caffeine. I just prefer a stronger, bolder flavor. I think if you’re going to try cooking or baking with coffee, it makes sense to use stronger roasts because a light roast might get overpowered. Both the Louisiana and the Evangeline blends are full-bodied, which also makes them good for using in recipes in my opinion.

12-oz--ground-evangeline-blend@2x 12-oz--ground-louisiana-blend@2x

You know I’m not the best cook, right? I’ll admit to you, over-estimated my skills and tried a few things that just didn’t work. Not because of the coffee, but because, well, like I said, I over-estimated my skills. I tried to make a coffee rub. I don’t actually know what a rub is, or how to make it. It didn’t work the way I thought it would.

I figured brownies would be a safer bet. I was right. They came out freaking awesome. The pictures, not so much. I don’t know how people take such stellar pictures of brownies for Pinterest. I’m not a food photographer. I’ll never be one. I’m a writer. I write. I drink coffee. I was actually going to go buy brownies and take pictures of those instead. That’s lying. I don’t lie. So, you know what? These are my caffeinated brownies:

Get a few nifty tips for cooking with coffee, plus see how easy it is to make this delicious (albeit not exactly beautiful)  Caffeinated Brownies!

They may not look like a magazine picture, but they sure taste awesome! I think it’s time we stop feeling like failures if our food doesn’t look like it belongs on a billboard. After all, it’s supposed to TASTE good, right?

So how do you make caffeinated brownies? I’m going to tell you a secret: you can use any brownie recipe that you like. Just swap out the water in the recipe for coffee! I used my cake mix hack brownies recipe, except this time I put it in an 8×8 pan to make them thicker.

The “Community” in Community Coffee

Community Coffee really stands by the “community” part of their name. The have a terrific program called Military Match that I really love. Buy your loved one in the military a Military Match Set of four coffees in the program (12oz, 16oz and K-Cups), and Community Coffee will match the gift by sending them an additional four items. The purchase must be shipped to an APO/FPO or other military base address. They even include a free mug with the shipment.

They also have a Community Cash for Schools programs, where you can earn cash for your school by saving the  UPC/Proof of Purchase Seals from Community products. Plus they really support the coffee farmers and their families.

Community Coffee has a great variety of coffee blends, including ground, whole bean and K-Cups, so head over to their site and start shopping! Check them out on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with news.

Have you ever cooked with coffee? What recipes do you love to make?