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What to Enjoy With Your Mardi Gras Coffees

Celebrate Mardi Gras with some tasty treats to go along with your coffees. We share some of our favorite recipes for authentic New Orleans delicacies to commemorate the day.

beignets and coffee

Mardi Gras King Cake

For a visually striking AND tasty treat, add the traditional Mardi Gras King Cake to your festivities. We've talked about this yummy cake before and even have a King Cake flavored coffee you can enjoy any time of year. Here's how to bake your own King Cake for this year's Mardi Gras.

INGREDIENTS
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 12 pieces

Filling
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Decoration
Colored sugar in green, purple, and yellow
Miniature plastic baby (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Beat on low, using the paddle attachment, for 30 seconds. Heat milk, sugar, and salt in a small pan over medium heat. Remove when sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches a temperature of 120 to 130 degrees F on a candy thermometer. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the liquid until incorporated with the flour mixture. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until the dough becomes shaggy. Turn off the mixer and scrape the paddle into the bowl. Add the dough hook attachment and mix on low, adding 1 cup of flour gradually until a soft dough forms. (Add more or less flour as needed) Add the softened butter a piece at a time, mixing until each piece is completely incorporated.

Continue to knead the mixture on low for 8 minutes, stopping the machine every 2 minutes to scrape the dough off the hook before continuing to knead. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding more. If the dough is too dry, add a drop of water at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding more. Once the dough is ready, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and continue kneading by hand until it is smooth and elastic. Form into a bowl and add to a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough ball a couple of times to ensure the entire surface is greased. Cover the bowl with plastic film wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

While the dough chills, make the cinnamon filling. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the butter and mix well.

After 1 hour, remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 10x20 inch rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling on half of the dough then fold the other half over the filling. Press down firmly so the dough will stick together. Cut the dough into three long strips then press one end of the strips together. Braid the strips and press the other end of the strips together. Stretch the braid gently until it reaches 20 inches. Shape the braid into a circle and press the ends together.

Place the ring on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic film wrap. Let rise until doubled in size. Should take about an hour. While rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 20 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Move the cake to a cooling rack to cool completely. If adding the baby to the cake, turn it over and make a small slit in the bottom of the cake. Place the baby in the cake once cooled.

To make the icing, add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to a small bowl. Mix together until smooth. If too thick, add milk. If too thin, add powdered sugar. Spoon the icing over the cake then immediately sprinkle with colored sugar, alternating colors around the cake.

Beignets

First of all, what exactly is a beignet? If you haven't had the opportunity to try a beignet before, you don't know what you're missing. A beignet is a rectangle of fried dough similar to a doughnut. They are light and pillowy and liberally dusted with powdered sugar. And, it should go without saying, they are best served warm! The best beignets in New Orleans come from Cafe du Monde, but these will do nicely. You can plan ahead and prepare the dough up to 24 hours in advance. Share with friends while watching the Mardi Gras parades.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees F)
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 eggs, large (room temperature)
1 cup evaporated milk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
4 cups peanut oil, for deep frying
2 cups powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
Add warm water, sugar, and yeast to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture has bloomed (it should be foamy). In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the eggs and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth. While still mixing, gradually add the vanilla and evaporated milk. Slowly add 3 1/2 cups of the bread flour and continue to mix until smooth. Turn the mixer to low and very slowly add the yeast mixture, taking care not to splash it. Once incorporated, add the butter and beat until combined. Beat in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour along with the salt. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover tightly with plastic film wrap. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Line a large sheet baking pan with 3 to 4 layers of paper towels to drain the beignets. In a large pan, heat 4 inches of peanut oil to 360 degrees F. (Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil temperature is correct and protect from burning the beignets.) Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry the dough squares in batches until they are golden brown and puffy. This should take about 1 minute. Remove the beignets to the paper towel-lined baking pan. Dust generously with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Best with a strong coffee!

Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster is a classic dessert from the 1950s. It was named for a loyal customer, Richard Foster, who frequented Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans. Serve this flaming dessert when you want to make a big impression.

INGREDIENTS
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, firm-ripe, peeled and halved lengthwise then crosswise
1/4 cup amber rum (Goslings or Old New Orleans)
1 pint vanilla ice cream

INSTRUCTIONS
Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon then cook for about a minute or until moist. Add the banana liqueur and cook, stirring constantly. The mixture is ready when the grainy texture disappears and drips off the spoon in a stream. This should take about 2 minutes. Add the banana quarters to the pan, round side down. Cook until the bananas start to become soft. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the bananas onto the flat side, remove the pan from the heat, and pour the rum over the top. Set the pan back on high heat and CAREFULLY light the rum with a long match or grill lighter. Shake the pan back and forth gently until the flame goes out. Remove from heat.

To serve: add a large scoop of ice cream to a dessert bowl. Arrange 2 to 3 pieces of the sauteed banana around the scoop of ice cream. Spoon the sauce over the bananas and ice cream. Serve immediately.

Coffees To Serve

Now that you have your Mardi Gras recipes, here are some coffee ideas you can serve with your desserts. And a few you can serve instead of dessert!

New Orleans Style Chicory Coffee

Our New Orleans Style Chicory Coffee is a must when planning your next Mardi Gras or New Orleans-themed get-together.

King Cake Flavored Coffee

Skip the muss and fuss of baking your own King Cake and serve this coffee instead. Our King Cake Flavored Coffee invokes those same exciting feelings.

Bananas Foster Flavored Coffee

Leave the flambeing to the professionals. Add our Bananas Foster Flavored Coffee to your Mardi Gras celebrations instead.

After Dinner Blend

Our After Dinner Blend would be a fantastic choice to serve with Bananas Foster. The dark roast, also known as a New Orleans Roast, imparts a strong flavor profile that can hold its own against the rich and syrupy flavors of this classic delicacy.

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