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Surprising Ways to Cook With Coffee

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Nothing tastes better in the morning than a cup of coffee, but you may not want to spend the whole day drinking cup after cup. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to infuse coffee into other recipes to capture the taste you want without giving yourself the jitters. From breakfast to dinner, you can find a way to sneak coffee into many different concoctions if you're crafty enough.

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Baking With Beans
Coffee is a great complement to a variety of baked goods, so it makes sense to start your journey into cooking with coffee there. Chocolate and coffee often pair well, and if you've done a lot of baking, it probably comes as no surprise that plenty of recipes can benefit from a coffee bean boost. One way to start your experiments in baking with coffee is to add a small amount of espresso powder to foods with ingredients that you might put in coffee. So, if you're making cookies containing cinnamon or chocolate, you can add coffee without too much worry. If you can't find espresso powder, fine coffee grounds or even brewed espresso might do the trick, according to the Small Kitchen College blog.

Coffee Marinade 
While mixing coffee and pastries is a no-brainer, using coffee to spice up meat may be a little more surprising. According to Greatist, an unexpected way to add some pizzazz to pork is to use coffee grounds as a marinade. The source recommended mixing coffee grounds with something spicy, like chipotle or chili powder, to add to bacon or pulled pork. After your meal is cooked, it won't taste like you've just spilled your coffee into it. Instead, the bitterness of the grounds meld with the flavor of the meat to pull out some of its complexities. It's not just pork that can benefit from the coffee bean treatment, though. Greatist suggested adding a few tablespoons of coffee grounds to beef stew to make it even heartier.

Vegetables With a Kick
Another unexpected use for coffee is to use it to cook vegetables. According to The Splendid table, carrots cooked over coffee turned up on the menu of one San Francisco restaurant. Much like using coffee to marinate meat, using it to aid roasting doesn't make the dish taste like coffee - it just adds some of the complex characteristics of the beans. The recipe in question involves slow-cooking carrots over a bed of coffee grounds to give them an earthy taste, but you may find that the technique works with other dishes as well.