Iced coffee is one refreshing way to get your caffeine intake over the dog days of summer, but why limit yourself to a simple cup of chilled Joe when there are so many other delicious things you can do with a brew? Here are three fresh treats, including coffee popsicles and snow cones, to cool you down and perk you up, and they’re as easy to make as your morning cup of coffee.
Café Au Lait Popsicles
Café au lait is a decadent-tasting French-style coffee drink typically made with equal parts dark brewed coffee and milk, sometimes topped with froth. With a little cold-brew concentrate (or strong-brewed iced coffee), a little milk and sugar, and a popsicle mold, you can have this Parisian favorite frozen on a stick and on the go.
- Mix up your iced coffee to taste. You’ll want about 3 cups of liquid to make the treats. If you’re using cold-brew concentrate, 1 part coffee, 1 part water, and 1 part milk or cream should do nicely. For strong-brewed iced coffee, half coffee to milk or cream will have that luxurious café au lait flavor.
- Once you have perfected your coffee-to-milk ratio, don’t forget to sweeten the deal: Add simple syrup to taste, mixing completely.
- Pour the coffee liquid into a popsicle mold and freeze overnight for the perfect morning treat. If you don’t have a popsicle mold, an ice-cube tray will do the trick for bite-size buzz. Once you’ve poured the liquid in, cover the tray with cling wrap or aluminum foil, and poke toothpicks, store-bought popsicle sticks, or trimmed bamboo skewers through the wrap into each segment.
Coffee Snow Cones
An easy, elegant dessert or a quick wake-up brain freeze, this snow cone comes together in a flash with some pre-made syrup stored in the fridge.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 8 oz strong brewed iced coffee, or 4 oz cold-brew concentrated diluted with 4 oz cold water
- Shaved ice*
- Sweetened condensed milk
- In a bowl, add the sugar and hot water and stir to dissolve into a simple syrup.
- Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then combine with whatever coffee you are using. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- Just before serving, shave ice and scoop into individual bowls or glasses. Pour the coffee mixture over each cup to taste, and top with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk if desired. Serve with a spoon.
*You can easily create shaved ice by pouring a layer of water into a rimmed baking sheet, freezing it, and scraping the ice into crystals with a spade or fork.
Iced Coffee Ice Box Cake
How can something so simple taste so divine? That’s the question I ask myself about coffee all the time, but it also applies to icebox cake, the world’s easiest and most perfect dessert. Here, we combine the two for an out-of-this-world treat that doesn’t need to come out of the oven.
- 1/4 cup cold-brew concentrate
- 1 quart very cold heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 container of chocolate wafer cookies or about 20 whole graham crackers
- In a large mixing bowl, combine coffee, cream, and sugar, and beat using a mixer until it forms peaks.
- On a baking sheet or serving plate, spread a thin layer of whipped cream to hold the cookies. If using traditional chocolate wafers, spread some of the whipped cream on one side of the cookie and gently place it standing up on the plate, adding an additional cookie for stabilization.
- Repeat, creating sandwich layers of whipped cream between the cookies, and when done coat the cookie line with whipped cream to cover. If using graham crackers, lay the first cracker in the base layer of whipped cream and top with more coffee whipped cream before stacking the next layer; repeat and coat with whipped cream to cover.
- Put the dish into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours to allow the cookies to soften and absorb the flavor; cut on a diagonal to serve.
Can't get enough coffee? Try these fun coffee cocktails, make your cold brew extra cold with coffee ice cubes, and try these 5 easy recipes for using up leftover coffee.