Cook's Corner: Coffee still good in summer

Published 6:08 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
I'm working on a recipe and you may be able to help me out with this one.
My friends and co-workers know that I love coffee. I enjoy a cup practically every morning of my life. Now, my cup of coffee is probably not like yours. I have figured out the mug I use regularly at work holds the equivalent of three cups of coffee. The one I use at home holds four cups. So when I drink just one cup of coffee, I've probably had as much as most folks have all day long.
I will drink regular coffee, but for some reason I prefer flavored coffee even more. My favorite right now is the caramel drizzle put out by the Folger's company. At least that's the one I can get around Brewton without having to go to a specialty shop. Now if I have an opportunity, I get the caramel truffle made by the Millstone Company. Those two flavors are fabulous and can cause me much pleasure in my coffee drinking experience.
My husband has a problem understanding how anyone, let alone his wife, can drink hot coffee on a summer day. In some way, I guess I can understand his confusion on this matter.
Because of that, I tried to come up with one of those great coffee shakes you see folks drinking in the mall. I gave it a try and did a pretty good job of recreating the drink at home, but I still have a small problem.
When I brewed my favorite blend of coffee Sunday morning, I brewed some extra. I sweetened and creamed it just as if I were going to drink the extra serving then and there. After that, I poured it into a plastic container and put it in the freezer for a little rest.
Late in the day, I took out the frozen coffee and dumped it into my blender and added a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. (Thinking about it now, I probably should have added a little caramel topping to the mix.)
It came out pretty good but not quite as good as I had hoped. I found out that coffee needs to be a little sweeter when it's cold than when it's hot to make it taste sweet at all.
This is where you folks come in. If you have any good ideas on how to make a frozen coffee treat, please pass your ideas along to me. I'm not afraid to brew some coffee. As a matter of fact, I have two pots at my house just waiting for your directions.
Now, on to a few recipes for this week. I did look up some recipes that use coffee in making a cold treat. I can tell you there are precious few out there for the taking, but I did manage to find a couple that might be of interest to you.
Coffee Granita
3 cups espresso or strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional zinger: 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (Tia Maria, Kahula) or Bailey's Irish Cream
Mix hot coffee and sugar together until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool, then refrigerate until completely cooled, at least two hours. In the meantime, freeze a square metal pan, about 8×8 (Don't worry if your pan is a slightly different size.) Add vanilla to cooled mixture, and if using, the booze. Stir well, and pour into frozen pan. Cover with plastic or foil and place in freezer.
After 1 hour, retrieve pan and check for ice crystals developing on the edges of the pan. With a fork, stir the crystals towards the center of the pan. Cover and return to the freezer. Repeat this process every 20-30 minutes, for about 3 hours, until mixture is no longer liquidy and resembles snowflakes. Serve immediately in glass dishes (it's prettier that way) with whipped cream or by itself. If stored in an airtight container, coffee granita will keep for about 1 week.
This next recipe is one that sounds a lot like what I tried to make recently. I'm thinking the frozen coffee would take care of the ice cube thing and make it richer in coffee flavor. You give this one a try and see what you think.
Coffee Smoother
2 cups coffee
1 cup milk
2 cups chocolate ice cream
1/4 cup cinnamon
1 cup ice cubes
Place the coffee, milk, ice cream, cinnamon, and ice cubes in the bowl of a blender; puree until smooth.
As with any recipe, these are simply guides. You can add to or take away from any recipe to suit your tastes. As for the recipe above I wouldn't use the cinnamon at all. I don't care for cinnamon in my coffee. Using a coffee that was flavored at roasting would cut down on the need to add any other flavorings to whatever recipe you decide to try.
There's just one last bee I'd like to put in your bonnet as you think about recipes to share with me on the frozen coffee subject. Someone once told me that you could freeze brewed coffee and prepare a frozen concoction that is sweet and creamy by adding sweetened-condensed milk to the blender of frozen coffee. I haven't tried that one, but if anyone out there knows the proper combination or a suitable substitute, I'd appreciate your letting me know.
I hope that you find something to help you stay cool this summer, because it's going to be a hot one!
Remember if you have any tips or recipes you'd like to share with the readers of this column, please let me know. I'll give you full credit when I include them here. Also, if you're looking for a particular recipe or a recipe using a specific ingredient, let me know that as well. I love a good recipe hunt!
You can call me at 867-4876 or drop by the office at 407 St. Nicholas Avenue or email me at

Email newsletter signup