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TIP OF THE DAY: More Uses For Instant Coffee & A Mocha Chip Cookies Recipe

There’s a National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (August 4th), but nothing official to celebrate mocha chip cookies—which arguably go better with a cup of coffee.

Make some for your favorite coffee-and-cookie-loving dad, or as an any-occasion treat.

This recipe comes from Nescafé Taster’s Choice, which uses its House Blend 100% Pure Instant Coffee Granules.

If you don’t have instant coffee or granules on hand (the difference is below), buy a jar and see all the other ways you can use it also below.
 
 
RECIPE: MOCHA CHIP COOKIES

Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 10-12 minutes.

We had a stash of both semisweet and white morsels, so used a half cup of each in the recipe. We like the extra “twinkle” provided by the white chocolate.

With some of the cookies, make mini ice cream sandwiches, and serve with iced coffee. A yum! for dessert or snacking.

Ingredients For 4 Dozen Cookies

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Nestlé  Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

    2. COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

    3 COMBINE the coffee granules and water in small bowl; stir until coffee is dissolved. Add to the sugar mixture and mix well. Gradually mix in the flour mixture.

    4. STIR in the morsels. Drop by the rounded teaspoon onto the prepared baking sheets.

    5. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are crisp. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Try not to eat them all at once.

    Photo and recipe © Nescafe.
     
     
    MORE USES FOR INSTANT COFFEE

  • Add to any chocolate or coffee dessert (cake, mousse, etc.)
  • Add to chili
  • Add to cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, etc.
  • Add to marinades and rubs (especially steak)
  • Add to weak brewed coffee
  • Add to sauces and vinaigrettes
  • Bring onto airlines (your instant will likely be better than their brewed)
  • Make coffee ice pops
  • Make coffee ice cubes for iced coffee
  • Make coffee soda with a SodaStream or other carbonator
  • Mix into oatmeal
  • Mix into yogurt
  • Mix into smoothies and shakes
  • Sprinkle onto ice cream
  •  
    You’ll finish that jar in no time!
     
     
    INSTANT COFFEE HISTORY & THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INSTANT COFFEE & COFFEE GRANULES

    Instant coffee is made from ground coffee beans that are further processed, using an extraction technique to create instant coffee.

    The extraction creates a concentrated coffee liquid, which contains the chemical compounds that give coffee its aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel (source).

    The concentrate is then dried, leaving behind soluble granules—the instant coffee—that dissolves instantly in hot water.

     


    [1] A more sophisticated switch-up: mocha chip cookies (photo and recipe © Nescafé).

    Coffee Granules
    [2] A close-up of Nescafé Taster’s Choice coffee granules (photo © Nescafé).

    Espresso Powder
    [3] Serious bakers like the more elegant flavor of instant espresso powder, available from King Arthur Flour (photo © King Arthur Flour).

    Chocolate Stout Cake
    [4] A teaspoon of instant coffee makes any chocolate dessert taste better (photo © King Arthur Flour; here’s the recipe).

    Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies
    [5] Don’t forget the brownies (photo © The Baker Chick; here’s the recipe).

     
    Instant coffee, also called soluble coffee, coffee powder, and, in the case of granules, coffee crystals, are interchangeable terms. Granules appeared in the 1970s, when manufacturing enabled their production for marketing purposes: the granules looked more like ground coffee.

    For travelers, armies and other people who had no convenient access to brewed coffee, the desire for a coffee concentrate that could simply be added to hot water goes back hundreds of years—since coffee first arrived in Europe, in the 16th century.

    The earliest documented version of instant coffee was developed in Britain in 1771, the first American product 1853.

    They were not particularly satisfying: the American version, served to troops in the Civil War, was rejected a “axel grease” (source).

    A satisfactory instant or soluble coffee was patented in France in 1881, and another in Australia in 1890, which patented the “Dry Hot-Air” process. Other inventions followed.

    In the 1930s, the Brazilian coffee industry encouraged more instant coffee research on as a way of preserving excess coffee crops. The Nestlé company took up the challenge, developed a more advanced coffee refining process, and began manufacturing Nescafé, long the industry leader, in 1938.

    High-vacuum freeze-dried coffee was developed shortly after World War II, as an indirect result of wartime research into other areas.

    The height of instant coffee popularity was in the 1970s, as time became more of a premium. (Plus, may we add, that all the sugar and cream added to the cup achieved a satisfactory taste compared with brewed coffee.

    About a third of the roasted coffee imported into the U.S. in the 1970s was converted into instant coffee. Today, it’s about 15%.

    We always have a small jar on hand—but that’s because a small spoonful makes any chocolate baked good taste better.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fancy Dessert, Simple Ingredients

    Brownie A La Mode
    [1] Ready to dig in? A creative brownie presentation from Good Food On Montford in Charlotte, North Carolina (photo © Good Food On Montford).

     

    With Father’s Day at hand and future days of desserts, here’s how to turn everyday ingredients into something fun yet fancy.

    The idea comes from Good Food On Montford, a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    A chocolate-chip brownie is delicious in of itself, but the chefs at Good Food On Montford have made it even more enticing with:

  • À la mode, here a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • A small chocolate chip cookie underneath the ice cream
  • A rim of crushed chocolate chip cookie
  • A mint leaf garnish
  •  
    You can apply the same “recipe” to:

  • Other bar cookies*
  • Other ice cream flavors (coffee ice cream is a good counterpoint)
  • Whipped cream, crème fraîche, or mascarpone instead of ice cream
  • A slice of cookie dough, instead of a baked cookie (the dough should be made with pasteurized eggs; many supermarkets sell the eggs or prepared dough made with them)
  • A drizzle of raspberry purée instead of cookie crumbs
  • A berry garnish instead of a mint leaf
  • Any substitution you wish!
  •  
    For more inspiration, check out the restaurant’s:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • ________________

    *Brownies are classified as bar cookies, along with cheesecake bars, lemon or Key lime bars, linzer bars, molasses/spice bars, pecan bars, etc.

    Check out the different types of cookies.

      

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    RECIPE KIT: Cinnamon Raisin Bread

    If you’ve thought about baking bread but have never gotten around to it, how about this incentive:

    Delicious and fragrant multigrain cinnamon-raisin bread, perfect for brunch, with a cheese plate or for snacking.

    One of our favorite uses for cinnamon-raisin bread:

  • Toasted cream cheese or goat cheese sandwiches.
  • Brie or mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches.
  •  
    You can bake the bread easily at home, with this bundled from King Arthur Flour.

    Maybe you know someone who’d like it as a Father’s Day Gift?
     
     
    WHAT’S IN THE BREAD KIT

  • Red Glazed Long Covered Baker
  • Super 10 Flour Blend
  • SAF Yeast
  • Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • Printed Recipe (here’s the recipe)
  •  
    BYO butter, honey, raisins, salt and sugar.

    The kit is $139.80, which includes the Emile Henry bread baker, which alone costs $130.00.

    This specially-designed covered baker from France’s acclaimed manufacturer was designed to make artisan breads with crisp, golden crusts and chewy, airy interiors. Use it with many other recipes.

     

    Cinnamon Raisin Bread
    [1] What could be better than Sunday brunch with a loaf of warm cinnamon-raisin bread?

    Cinnamon Raisin Bread Kit
    [2] Here’s what you get in the bread-baking kit (both photos © King Arthur Flour).

     
    The domed lid and ceramic walls trap steam to create a dry, crackling exterior. Handles on the lid make it easy to remove, and the ridged bottom of the pan keeps dough from sticking.

    Dishwasher-, freezer-, microwave- and oven-safe, it will be your companion for a lifetime of baking.
     
     
    GET YOUR BAKING KIT HERE.

    THEN: Ready, Set, Bake!

      

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    RECIPE: Potato Chip Omelet (Chips For Breakfast!)

    Potato Chip Omelet
    [1] A special Potato Chip Omelet for brunch, with optional bacon. Recipe and photo © Idaho Potato Commission.

    Fresh Thyme
    [2] Most home cooks have dried thyme in the cupboard, but fresh thyme adds a brighter, zingy taste (photo © Good Eggs).

    Baked Sweet Potato Chips
    [3] You can buy potato chips or make your own. How about these crispy baked sweet potato chips? Here’s the recipe from Clean Eats Fast Feets.

     

    For Father’s Day or other special brunch, how about a Potato Chip Omelet?

    This recipe, from the Idaho Potato Commission, finds yet another delicious way to serve Idaho® potatoes.
     
     
    RECIPE: POTATO CHIP OMELET

    Note that this recipe makes enough for a crowd. For a smaller portion, per omelet whisk 3 eggs (about ¾ cup) with 1/2 cup crushed potato chips, 1/2 cup cooked onions and 1 tablespoon snipped chives.

    You can substitute sweet potato chips (photo #3) as you prefer.

    Ingredients

  • 3 pounds yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 36 large eggs, or 2-1/4 quarts liquid egg
  • ­3/4 pound potato chips, lightly crushed
  • 3/4 cup snipped chives
  • Optional: diced ham, cooked bacon, or sausage add-ins
  • Garnish: sour cream sauce, snipped chives and a side of chips
  •  
    For The Sour Cream Sauce

  • 24 ounces sour cream
  • 3/4 cup snipped fresh chives
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the sour cream sauce ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. COOK the onions with the butter and thyme in a large skillet over low heat, until softened and light golden brown, about 30 minutes.

    3. WHISK 3 eggs per omelet (about ¾ cup or 6 oz.) with 1 ounce (about 1/2 cup crushed) potato chips, 1/2 cup cooked onions and 1 tablespoon chives. Add ham, bacon or sausage as desired.

    4. HEAT an omelet pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Brush with melted butter or oil. Cook the eggs, pushing the cooked edges towards the center to make a 5-inch circle, about 1-inch thick. Cook just until the edges are set and the center is still liquid.

    5. COVER and continue to cook on low heat, or broil to finish, until the omelet is puffed and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Alternatively, pour the eggs into a 5-inch-diameter x 1-inch-deep egg ring, and cook until done.

    6. TURN the omelet out onto serving plate. Top with generous dollop of the sour cream sauce and garnish with snipped chives. Serve with chips on the side.

     

      

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    PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK: Chips, Chips & Popcorn

    We have a few favorite crispy snacks to enjoy when we’re having a crunch attack, or when we want something to go with beer, wine and Martinis.

    We love them with soup, too, as a side or a garnish. And for general crunching.

    This week’s products, in alphabetic order:
     
     
    1. GOLD EMBLEM ABOUND: WHITE CHEDDAR POPCORN

    Bags of tasty, whole-grain popcorn abound. Popcorn is a better-for-you snack, and whenever we’re hungry on-the-road we look for a bag.

    That’s how we happened upon the CVS brand, Gold Emblem Abound, and its delicious White Cheddar Flavored Heavenly Light Popcorn.

    The popcorn is all natural: no artificial colors or preservatives. The cheddar is just the right amount. And the light, fluffy texture seemed even better than other brands we’ve tried.

    The next time you pass a CVS, treat yourself to a bag.

    You can even buy it online.
     
     
    2. HARVEST SNAPS: CRUNCHY PEA/LEGUME SNACKS, GLUTEN FREE

    Harvest Snaps are a line of gluten-free snacks made largely from legumes: peas or lentils. They have 50% less fat, lower sodium and more fiber than the same amount of potato chips.

    Legumes are packed with nutrients: calcium, folate, iron, potassium and vitamin B, along with highs level of protein and dietary fiber.

    The line is non-GMO, including the canola/sunflower oils used to fry the chips (most canola oil is made from genetically modified seeds).

    Flavors include:

  • Barbecue
  • Black Pepper
  • Caesar
  • Habanero
  • Lightly Salted
  • Mango Chile Lime
  • Parmesan Garlic
  • Tomato Basil
  • Wasabi Ranch
  • White Cheddar
  •  
    They’re light, crispy and perfect for summer. Where should you begin?

    THE NIBBLE philosophy has always been: Buy all the flavors and have a tasting party, with beer and wine.

    Discover more at HarvestSnaps.com.
     
     
    3. MOZAICS: ORGANIC POPPED VEGETABLE & POTATO CHIPS

    We became addicted to these very flavorful, very crunchy chips: a combination of legumes and potatoes which have more protein and fiber, and less fat and calories, than either vegetable chips or potato chips.

    Made with organic legumes and potatoes—organic black beans, organic green peas, organic potatoes and organic yellow split peas—they are neither fried nor baked, but popped with a brush of organic extra virgin olive oil.

    Flavors include:

  • BBQ
  • Cheddar
  • Salsa
  • Sea Salt
  • Sour Cream & Onion
  •  

    Gold Emblem Abound Popcorn
    [1] All-natural light popcorn with just the right amount of cheddar (photo © CVS).

    Harvest Snaps BBQ
    [2] There are 10 flavors of legume-based Harvest Snaps, including BBQ, shown here (photo © Harvest Snaps).

    Mozaics Vegetable-Potato Chips
    [3] Mozaics chips combine legumes, potatoes, and tons of flavor (photo © Mozaics Chips).

    SeaSnax Chomperz Jalapeno
    [4] We love chomping on Chomperz, gluten-free seaweed and rice snacks (photo © SeaSnax).

     
     
    The line is gluten-free, OU kosher and vegetarian, with some vegan varieties. Find out more at MozaicsChips.com.
     
     
    4. SEASNAX: CHOMPERZ CRUNCHY SEAWEED CHIPS

    SeaSnax Chomperz are crunchy seaweed chips from the SeaSnax company of Korea. Curls of nori seaweed are wrapped in rice flour ard lightly seasoned with a pinch of sea salt and other flavorings.

    Made from organic seaweed, this all-natural alternative to other salty snack is available in:

  • Barbecue
  • Jalapeño
  • Onion
  • Original
  •  
    SeaSnax are vegan, verified non-GMO, and free of cholesterol, gluten and sugar. They’re naturally low in fat, and one package of contains just 80 calories per ounce.

    You can buy them online at SeaSnax.com.

    Note that the ingredients include glutinous rice flour. Despite its name, glutinous rice flour is actually gluten free.
     
     
    Snack On, Nibblers!
      

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