With the ridiculous wave of heat that has been enveloping the United States this past month I’ve made a switch from hot tea and coffee, to iced alternatives. This Friday I’ve found a great step-by-step for cold brewing coffee. I’ve also found a great cupcake that’s not only cute on display, but a great, tasty companion to iced coffee. And as usual, I’m wrapping up this weeks Friday Finds with fashion + art finds! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
A How-to for Cold Brewed Coffee
During college my roommates constantly drank iced-coffee that they had hot-brewed, then cooled off overnight in the refrigerator. And every time, unsurprising to me, they were disappointed in the result. In high school I worked as a barista at a local Caribou Coffee. During my time there we took part in “coffee-talks” where we sipped black coffee and discussed the unique flavors of each blend, as well as coffee classes. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that pouring hot coffee or espresso over ice “shocks” the brew, forcing some of the dissolved solids out of the solution, causing it to taste very bitter. The same thing happens with iced tea. If you add ice directly to hot tea it clouds and tastes bitter, though, not as shockingly and unpleasantly bitter as icing hot coffee.
Worry not! There is a simple solution so you’ll never drink a cup of iced, shocked brew again [not to mention you'll save a bundle by brewing at home!]. I found this simple explanation for cold-brewing coffee from Smitten Kitchen:
- Visit your favorite local coffee shop or grocery store and purchase whole bean coffee. Then ask the baristas [or use a grinder in the grocery store] to coarsely grind the beans, about the same grind that you would use for a French press. The coffee doesn’t have to be an “iced blend,” just make sure it’s a blend you enjoy, but I will say that in my experience lighter roasts typically turn out a bit better than dark roasts when cold-brewing, again, just a personal preference/observation.
- Depending on how many servings you’d like to make measure about a third of a cup of coffee grounds for every 12 ounces of water.
- First put the coffee grounds in a container [I typically use a measuring cup for a single serving, and a drink pitcher for larger batches]. Next, fill the container with the appropriate amount of room-temperature tap-water.
- Cover the container with plastic-wrap and let sit for 10-12 hours, depending on how strong you’d like the coffee.
- Use a metal, mesh strainer [like the one pictured here] to strain the grounds from the coffee.
Remember, if the mix is too strong you can always add additional cold water, since the coffee was cold brewed you’re safe from shocking. Add milk and sweeteners to taste and enjoy!
Death by Oreo Cupcakes
I can take no credit for this fun recipe. Many props to www.instructables.com! The photos and recipe come directly from their site and I can’t wait to give these tasty treats a try!
- 1 package Oreo Cookies
- 1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
- 1 package chocolate cake mix (mix according to directions on box) *The original author recommends using dark chocolate fudge cake mix instead of a regular chocolate cake mix.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cupcake liners
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix packaged cake mix according to directions (do not bake). Line cupcake tins with liner, place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner. Take 1/2 of remaining cookies and chop coarsely and add to cake mix. Fill the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions). While cupcakes are baking make the frosting.
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Chop remaining regular-sized Oreos very fine (I put the cookies in the food processor instead of trying to chop them up super fine and it worked out really well). Add to frosting. After cupcakes have cooled frost and decorate with Mini Oreos.
Fashion Find: LA MER Collections
I’ve recently been researching watches, as I’m in the market for a new one [seemingly perpetually]. I came across this brand through Anthropologies collection of wrist candy, and I fell in lust. I hope wrap watches don’t go out of style anytime soon, because I’m crazy about them! Below are two of my favorites:
LA MER Collection’s Crystal Plum Eggplant Wrap
LA MER Collection’s Turquoise Crystal Slate Gray with Rose Gold Case Wrap
Fun + Artsy Find: The Paintings of Holton Rower [VIDEO]