Sept. 29, 2016
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Coffee popsicles are all we can think about anymore.
Gwyneth Doland

Coffee Pops to the Rescue!

Upgrade your caffeine delivery mechanism

June 29, 2016, 12:00 am

There have been so many stories in here about drinks lately that you guys probably think SFR is on a liquid diet. Not true! We are voracious eaters. But in the summer, we crave cold drinks, and iced coffee becomes much more appealing than a hot cup.

The problem with iced coffee, of course, is dilution. You pour coffee over ice cubes, and it becomes a watery mess. Hence, coffee ice cubes. You know, you take the bottom of today’s pot and pour it into ice cube trays to chill tomorrow’s drinks? That’s genius, for sure.

So is cold brew. You put ground coffee and cold water in a pitcher (fitted with a mesh filter if you have one) and let it rest overnight. The result is a smooth, full-flavored coffee that you can either gently reheat or serve cold.

Here’s where trouble comes in: If you want to have iced coffee, why not make the cold brew stronger, more concentrated, so that when it melts the ice cubes, you get a coffee equilibrium? But what really happens is that you end up drinking chilled jet fuel—because meh, who needs ice cubes, I’m so tired this morning—and then you’re wide-eyed, panting and shaking so hard that you can’t type at your desk, and people around you begin to strongly suspect that you have a methamphetamine problem.

Long story short, this is how we arrive at coffee popsicles: single-serving icebergs of coffee with just enough flavor to view them as a treat and not as a life-sustaining bodily fluid.

I picked up a mocha mint popsicle after breakfast one morning, and when it started to melt too fast, I dumped it into my coffee, and it was awesome. I could do that every day.

Note that these are strictly a morning or midday treat for most people, but you can certainly use decaf to make popsicles that are fun and tasty but without the kick. You can use cold brew, chilled espresso, leftover cold coffee or whatever you’re in love with right now. And you get to taste the mixture before you freeze it, so you know what you’re getting.

You can buy popsicle molds at the grocery store, cookware shops or big box stores. Look for molds that have a drip-catching feature. Or you could do it the old-fashioned way: put popsicle sticks in little Dixie cups and fill them up. Whatever you choose, the volume will vary.

Horchata Pops

This recipe calls for Rice Dream Horchata because that’s what I stumbled onto at the store, and it is super easy. It makes an icy pop, though. If you want a creamier pop, you can substitute cream, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar to taste.

Makes 4 (4-ounce) pops

  • 1¼ cups strong coffee, cold
  • ½ cup Rice Dream Horchata (or another horchata)

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze 4 hours or overnight.

Mint Mocha Pops

The easiest way to flavor these is with peppermint extract, which you can find at the grocery store. You can also pour hot milk over fresh mint leaves and let it sit for a while. Or you can make a simple syrup with fresh mint and use it to sweeten this (and iced tea, lemonade, mojitos etc.).

Makes 4 (4-ounce) pops

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder or shaved chocolate
  • ¼ cup cream, milk, rice milk, whatever
  • 1½ cups strong coffee, cold or at room temp
  • sweetener, to taste
  • 1 dash peppermint extract

Put the chocolate in a mug, add the milk and stir to combine as well as you can. Heat it in a double boiler or microwave in 30-second increments until the chocolate shavings melt or the cocoa melds with the milk. Whisk to combine.

Stir in the coffee and sweeten to taste.

Add the tiniest amount of peppermint extract you can possibly manage. Taste, then add more if necessary. It’s incredibly powerful.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze 4 hours or overnight.

White Russian Pops

Because why not, OK? You either get a little warm and fuzzy at breakfast or have a little post-prandial perk-up. Kahlua is good, Bailey’s is good, chocolate liqueur is good, a little Irish whiskey would be fine. Use what you have on the bar.

Makes 4 (4-ounce) pops

  • ¾ cup very strong coffee, cold
  • ¾ cup milk, cream, whatever
  • ¼ cup Kahlua
  • sweetener, to taste

Mix all ingredients together until the sweetener is completely dissolved.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze 4 hours or overnight.


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