Showing posts with label espresso. Show all posts
Showing posts with label espresso. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon with Maple-Espresso Glaze plus a Special Giveaway from Cleo Coyle

WARNING: Once you start eating this beautiful, smoky-sweet bacon, you won’t be able to stop!  At least, that’s been my experience and Marc’s, my husband and partner in crime writing. 
Click here to learn more.

Our readers may recognize a version of this treat from our bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery Dead to the Last Drop, set in Washington, DC.

Assistant chef Luther Bell cooks it up for customers of the new Village Blend Jazz Space, a relaxed supper club co-managed by our amateur sleuth Clare, who soon feels more than the heat of the kitchen when she becomes a prime suspect in the kidnapping of the President’s college-age daughter. Forced to go on the run with acting federal agent Mike Quinn, Clare must solve the perplexing mystery in order to save her good friends, Mike’s law enforcement career—and her own bacon. 

* * *


Marc and I hope you enjoy the recipe and...we invite you to check out a very special giveaway, along with an insanely easy recipe for Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake...

TO ENTER, CLICK HERE or on the photo below
and jump to our Cherry Coffee Cake post
where you can enter our giveaway...


Now let's get our bacon on!

How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon 
with Maple-Espresso Glaze

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

While there are plenty of recipes out there for coffee bacon or glazed bacon, this one is our own—one my husband and I tweaked to perfection, in our opinion, anyway! 

One strip of this beautiful bacon evokes the glorious flavors of a pancake breakfast—
the sweetness of maple syrup, the earthiness
of coffee, and the unctuous richness of smoked meat...

Now you may be tempted to change the recipe—say, use regular bacon instead of thick-cut. Or make the bacon on a rack instead of a sheet pan or leave out the espresso powder (aka instant espresso). 

Our advice is don't do it, follow the recipe! Thick-cut bacon works wonderfully in this cooking process; regular or thin-cut will burn to a crisp! A rack will drain too much grease, which is necessary in the cooking for both flavor and caramelization. (It would also become caked with the glaze, making a royal mess.) And the deep earthiness of that espresso powder is needed to balance the cloying sweetness of the maple syrup and unctuousness of the bacon. 

Finally, be sure not to undercook the meat. The real key to perfection is watching for the slight char on the edges of the strips. That char assure you that the sugars have properly caramelized in the glaze.

You can serve the finished bacon with coffee, grapefruit, and slices of melon for an amazing breakfast (that's how Marc and I are eating it this morning)! Or make this a show-stopping side dish as part of a larger brunch, or try it as a fun snack or dinner appetizer. It’s also fantastic in a BLT. However you serve it, one thing is certain... You will be eating with sheer joy!

To download this recipe in
a free PDF that you can print,
save, or share,
click here.

Click for the free recipe PDF.

Cleo's Coffee Bacon with
Maple-Espresso Glaze

Makes 6 bacon slices


6 Thick-cut bacon slices (must be thick-cut)

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (dark gives deeper complexity)

¼ teaspoon espresso powder
(aka instant espresso,
     see my note and the end of the recipe) 

1 Tablespoon hot coffee

1-1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Optional addition: For a smoky-spicy note, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder to the glaze. For more heat try chipotle chile powder or ancho chile powder. Start with a little and taste-test the glaze until you reach the level of spiciness you like. (And, yes, there is a difference between "chili" and "chile" powder. Learn more here.)


(1) First preheat your oven to 375° F. Place bacon slices flat on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You want the slices to warm up a bit before going into the oven, so lay out the bacon before making the glaze. 

The parchment paper is there to absorb grease and prevent the bacon from sticking to the pan. Believe me, the process is messy, and you’ll be glad you used the parchment paper!

(2) Measure dark brown sugar and espresso powder (aka instant espresso) into a small bowl. Add hot coffee and whisk with a fork until sugar and espresso granules are dissolved. Whisk in maple syrup. 

(3) Brush each slice with your coffee-maple-glaze. 

(4) Bake for 10 minutes at 375° F. Flip the bacon, brush the other side with more of the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 425° F. Bake for another 10 to 13 minutes. 

Watch closely to prevent burning. Bacon is not done until the edges show caramelization—they should look slightly charred. (See my photos below as a guide.)

(5) Drain grease: Allow the bacon to cool a few minutes and the sizzling to stop. Then move the hot bacon slices to a baking sheet or counter surface that’s been covered with waxed paper or parchment paper. Do not use paper towels, the glazed bacon will stick! Serve and eat with sheer joy!

*Note on Espresso Powder: 

Espresso powder (or instant espresso) is not made of ground espresso beans. It is freeze-dried espresso that dissolves quickly in liquids. A good quality brand to look for is Medaglia D’oro. You can use any brand of instant espresso in this recipe, but do not substitute instant coffee. It gives a harsher and more sour flavor than instant espresso, which brings a richer, earthier note.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now

a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to make a Chocolate-Espresso Brownie Affogato and Happy Book News from Cleo Coyle

In Italian, affogato means drowned. 

In a cafe, an affogato is a that coffee-lovers wouldn't mind drowning in!

If you order an affogato, a small bowl (or cup) of gelato or ice cream will be brought to you with a shot of fresh espresso beside it. 

To complete the affogato, you simply pour the hot espresso over the ice cream, drowning it in the earthy warmth of the coffee. This combination of sweet cream and dark heat is the heart of the dessert's appeal (at least to coffee-lovers...and Italians :)).

What I described is a basic affogato, but there are more elaborate variations. 

For example, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis once made a gingerbread affogato. She infused a simple syrup with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; and then poured the syrup over the ice cream with the espresso.

More common variations include a shot of liqueur served beside the shot of espresso (such as amaretto or Frangelico). Today, I'm sharing my "Coffeehouse" version, served over a base of warm-from-the-oven Chocolate-Espresso Brownies.

I'm also celebrating some happy news about my newly released Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill. More on that news at the end of this post. 

First, let's get cooking! 

~ Cleo 

Cleo Coyle, a former Brownie
(and Girl Scout), is author
author of The Coffeehouse
Cleo's Coffeehouse
Espresso Brownie Affogato

Warm brownies out of the oven are a little piece of heaven. Over the years, I've baked up plenty of pans from scratch and shared recipes with you. For example:

Aphrodisiac Brownies, from Murder by Mocha, (click here to see that recipe) and... 

Black Bean Brownies from A Brew to a Kill (click here to see that one).

Today, I'm sharing a quick-and-easy espresso brownie that you can whip up with a boxed mix. Why a mix? For those of you who don't bake much, this is an easy and foolproof way to bake a pan of brownies. Where did the recipe come from? Twenty years ago, brownie mixes had one flavor: chocolate. Being a coffee geek, I threw together this recipe, which infuses the earthy flavor of my favorite bean into the crumb. 

This recipe is adaptable to practically any boxed brownie mix. While you can now buy mocha brownie mixes, I find adding these fresh ingredients to a basic chocolate fudge mix produces better tasting espresso brownies. So give it a try and (as always) I sincerely hope you with joy! ~ Cleo 

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.


1 Box of Chocolate Brownie Mix (for a 9 x 13-inch pan)

1/4 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder (*see my note at end of recipe)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

TO MAKE THE BROWNIES: Pour the dry brownie mix into a large bowl. Do not add water as directed on the package. Instead, pour the espresso or strongly brewed coffee into a cup and dissolve the espresso powder into it. Add the vanilla and pour this mixture into the large bowl with the dry brownie mix. The brownie mix directions will likely ask you to add 2 or 3 eggs (2 for fudge-like brownies, 3 for cake-like). Make your choice and add the eggs. Add the oil required (usually 1/2 cup). Stir as directed, 50 strokes, do not over-mix but be sure to scrape down the bowl and blend in any visible dry mix into the wet batter. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and (if you like) chopped nuts. Pour into a pan that's been lightly coated with non-stick spray or greased with butter. Bake as directed on the package and cut into squares. 

*A note on espresso powder: Espresso powder is not ground up espresso beans. It is made from freeze-dried espresso. It dissolves in water to create instant espresso. While I don't recommend drinking espresso made from freeze-dried powder, I highly recommend using good quality espresso powder (rather than freeze-dried instant coffee) to add coffee flavor to your baking and cooking. Look for espresso powder in the instant coffee section of your grocery store. Or click here to see brands that you can purchase online.

TO MAKE THE AFFOGATO: Place two warm brownies in a small bowl or one brownie in a coffee cup. Add a scoop of ice cream or gelato. Serve this with a shot of hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee. One shot = 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of liquid (or 2 to 3 tablespoons). The general rule for an affogato is one shot of coffee per scoop of ice cream. To finish, pour the hot coffee over the cold ice cream and warm brownie and...

Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

Sweet News!

After a year on sale in
hardcover and e-book,
 A Brew to a Kill
is now an official
bestseller in paperback!

"A foodie's delight...And a
satisfyingly rich mystery."
~ Kirkus Reviews

A Brew to a Kill
#3 bestseller
in paperback mysteries
at B&N nationwide!

We also made B&N's Top-20*
(in store) bestsellers list for all
mass market paperbacks sold,

 *B&N Store Bestselllers
Aug. 20, 2013

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome Ghirardelli’s Mocha Challenge Winner: Jason Dominy Shares His $1500 Prize-Winning Recipe!

The devil you say! Yes, it's true. I'm about to introduce you to the man who created the Mocha Diablo, this year's $1500 prize-winning recipe for Ghirardelli's Mocha Challenge!

Jason Dominy is a highly respected professional in the coffee trade with over 14 years dedicated to coffee. He writes informative articles on the subject (like this one for Imbibe magazine, which will give you some great tips for pour-over coffee). Jason is also the incoming chair of the Barista Guild of America. I'll be blogging more about the US Barista Championships soon. Today, I'm pleased to turn things over to Jason...

(Scroll to the end of this post to read more about Jason or visit him at his blog, which features a lot of great coffee content.)

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
he Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Jason Dominy, dedicated coffee pro
and winner of this year's
Ghirardelli Mocha Challenge
I came up with the Mocha Diablo recipe 12 years ago, when I ran a coffee shop in downtown Athens, GA, called The Bean’ry. I was playing with different hot chocolates, and using pepper in them, when I decided to add espresso. It instantly hit me as a great drink.

Over the years I’ve tweaked it, and made it for hundreds of people as a special treat. It now uses chipotle, which is a smoked jalapeno, and adds a real nice depth to the drink.

When I saw the Ghirardelli contest on Barista Exchange, one of my favorite websites, I figured, “what the heck?” and entered the recipe as I’ve made it the past 5 years or so. I’ve always loved a good mocha done well, and do to this day. When the espresso is paired nicely with high quality chocolate, like the handmade chocolates from Cacao-Atlanta, a local bean-to-bar chocolate maker, the taste is amazing. (Click here to visit Cacao-Atlanta.)

B & B’s Timbales Blend coffee (sold by Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters in Atlanta, Georgia, click here to learn more about or purchase this coffee) has a nice sweet chocolate taste to it, and makes a great espresso, and a great pairing with a nice chocolate.

Over the years I’ve hosted many Single Origin Chocolate and Coffee Tastings, and find that the similarities in how cacao and coffee are grown lend themselves to differences in taste that even average customers can discern from, as well as pairing nicely together.

It was an honor to win this year’s Ghirardelli’s Mocha Challenge, and to be able to share this drink with you. It’s obviously inspired by Mexican hot chocolates, and has a nice depth most mochas don’t have.

The first thing you smell when you draw the cup to your nose is the sweet cinnamon. Then, you get the sweet milk, followed by the nice espresso and chocolate. And in the back of your mouth and throat, you sense the subtle heat from the ground chipotle. It’s a very well balanced drink. I give to you, the recipe. Enjoy!

In good coffee,
~ Jason Dominy

Jason Dominy's Winning
Mocha Diablo

* .5 oz Ghirardelli Black Label Chocolate Sauce

* Chipotle Powder (I use McCormick’s)

* Steamed Milk

* 2 shots espresso (A traditional double shot)

* Ground Cinnamon

Place 1 pump (.5 oz) Ghirardelli Black Label Chocolate Sauce and a conservative pinch of Chipotle Powder in a 10oz latte cup. Pull a standard double espresso shot into the cup and stir. Lightly dust the top with cinnamon and pour steamed milk over the top. Enjoy.

You can follow Jason on Twitter
by clicking here.

Visit Jason at his blog,
Musings of a Coffee Raggamuffin,
by clicking here

To see the other winners of this challenge
and get their delicious recipes,
click here and scroll down.

More on Jason...

Jason Dominy has been working in the coffee trade for 14 years, starting with opening his first coffeehouse in Augusta, Georgia, on the campus of Augusta State University. He is the incoming chair of the Barista Guild of America, and sits on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Professional Development Committee, training baristas and coffee professionals all over the country. Jason also judges at regional barista competitions. 

Jason’s current pro position is Customer Support and Outreach Coordinator for Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters (B&B) in Atlanta, a 24 year old company, roasting Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified and Bird-Friendly, Shade Grown coffees, using 100% renewable energy.

Jason not only uses social media to connect with the public, but also conducts events and labs at his company’s Roastery, at their Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, college campuses, and grocery stores like Whole Foods. (Dang, does this not sound like a fun job?!) Jason is quite passionate about his work, including his commitment to creating a better community for baristas and independent coffee shops.

Thank you, Jason, for sharing your passion,
talent, and winning recipe with us today!
~ Cleo

You are welcome to leave a comment or question for Jason or me
by clicking the "comments" link at the end of this post.


A final, quick note for our mystery reading fans.
This week marks the release of the latest Mystery Readers Journal with the theme Hobbies, Crafts, and Special Interests.

The issue, edited by Mystery Fanfare's Janet Rudolph, includes many mystery authors who have guest posted for us over the past year. You can check out the contents by clicking here, which will also give you info on how to purchase a copy (hard or electronic) for yourself.