Some days, you end up brewing more coffee than you can drink. Although it’s tempting to just dump out what’s left in your coffee pot, don’t go tossing those leftovers just yet. You might not know what to do with leftover coffee, but the good news is that you can put the extra brew to delicious use in all kinds of recipes, ranging from baked goods and desserts like tiramisu to spiced-up lattes, coffee ice cubes and granitas.
Not only will using leftover coffee help you cut down on waste, but you’ll also brighten up your meals and expand your repertoire. Just remember that if you’re not planning to use the extra coffee right away, pour it out of your pot or French press into a pitcher or jar first (and clean out those pesky coffee grounds with a cleaning spoon), then refrigerate the brew until you’re ready to use it, within a day or so. Here are just a few of the things you can do with leftover coffee:
Spruce Up Your Coffee With Spices
Your coffee may be a day old, but you can make it taste just as great as the fresh stuff—and maybe even better. Refrigerate your leftover coffee overnight and drink it iced the next morning, and try taking the flavor to the next level by adding in some spices such as cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg. You can even warm up the coffee and add it to hot cocoa for a homemade mocha, or blend it with some ice and spice for a fancy frappé.
Supercharge Your Breakfast
Need an extra jolt of energy in the morning? Use your leftover coffee in your breakfast recipes. You can add coffee instead of water to your oatmeal, or soak your overnight oats in coffee for a ready-made breakfast. Add some coffee to your chia seed pudding, or mix it into your pancake batter. There’s no easier way to add a little flair and enhance the taste of your meals—while also getting in an extra buzz.
Make Coffee Ice Cubes
If you don’t want to water down your iced coffee with regular ice cubes, try freezing your leftover coffee and turning it into coffee cubes. Pour your leftover coffee into an ice tray, freeze the cubes, and then drop them into your glass to keep your iced drink extra-cold and flavorful.
Mix Up a Marinade
You can use leftover coffee to boost the taste of everything from steak to chicken and pork. How? By mixing the brew into a marinade. Combine your leftover coffee with ingredients you likely already have at home, such as garlic, onions, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or mustard, then use the mixture to marinate the meat before you cook it. The coffee adds a subtle richness that enhances the sweet and tangy flavors of the marinade. You can also add the coffee into a chili recipe for an added kick.
Give Your Desserts a Boost
Mix leftover coffee into your favorite baked goods, from cakes to cookies, brownies and muffins. Keep in mind that coffee works particularly well in chocolate-based recipes: If the recipe calls for water or milk, consider replacing some of the liquid with coffee.
A classic tiramisu is a perfect way to use leftover coffee, since the recipe calls specifically for brewed coffee. (Hint: It’s best when the coffee is extra-strong.) Here’s how to make it:
Makes 12 servings:
1/4 cup hot milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups leftover coffee
3 tablespoons rum-and-coffee liqueur (Kahlúa) or brandy
24 (about 7 ounces) crisp Italian ladyfingers (savoiardi) or soft ladyfingers*
2 cups (16 ounces) mascarpone
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce dark (72% cocoa) or bittersweet chocolate, grated
- In a small bowl, stir together hot milk and sugar until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine coffee and coffee liqueur. Dip both sides of 12 ladyfingers, one at a time, in coffee mixture just until soaked. Arrange soaked ladyfingers in one layer in bottom of a 2-quart (8-inch square) baking dish, breaking some of the ladyfingers in half to fit.
- In a large bowl, stir together mascarpone and vanilla. Gradually add milk mixture and stir until blended. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream at high speed until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture just until blended. Spread half the mixture (about 1 1/2 cups) evenly over ladyfingers in the dish.
- Dip last 12 ladyfingers in remaining coffee mixture and arrange on top of mascarpone mixture in the dish. Spread top with remaining mascarpone mixture. Using a sieve, dust tiramisu evenly with cocoa powder, then sprinkle evenly with grated chocolate. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- *For soft ladyfingers, prepare the recipe as directed, except brush the ladyfingers with the coffee mixture (instead of dipping) in steps 2 and 4.
Want to enjoy the best tasting coffee in all your recipes? A Coffee POP Container will keep your coffee grounds fresh until you’re ready to brew them.
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