Friday, November 29, 2013

The Coffee Lover's Gift Guide

{The Coffee Lover's Gift Guide} by Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters

In the age where everyone seems to have everything they need, gift giving can get tricky. For the coffee lover in your life, we've got you covered!

  1. Pink Elephant Coffee — Let's start with the basics: The coffee lover needs her coffee. Locally roasted whole bean coffee in Tanzania Peaberry, Guatemala La Libertad and Organic Mexican Decaf $12 for 16 oz.
  2. Coffee Lover's Tee — Let the world know how you feel. These unisex v-neck tees are fitted, comfy and cool. Order at $29
  3. Chemex Coffee Brewer — Hip and oh so stylish, the elegant all-glass chemex gives you total control over the coffee brewing process, plus it looks sharp on your counter top. Find at $36.95 for 6-cup Chemex.
  4. The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee — For a down-to-earth and slightly nerdy intro to everything your coffee lover needs to know about the coffee world, from growing to roasting. Plus, lots of delicious pastry recipes to go along with that cup of joe. Find it at your local bookstore, or at, $25 
  5. The Best Coffee Ice Cream —  Columbus-based Jeni's Ice Cream knows that the only thing better than coffee is coffee ice cream. The intense coffee flavor in this ice cream is thanks to freshly roasted beans ground and steeped in grass-grazed cream. $12 per pint at or get it locally at Spoon Market & Deli in Wooster
  6. No-fail Travel Mug — This tried and true 24 oz. stainless steel vacuum bottle from L.L. Bean keeps coffee steaming hot for hours. It also does double duty to keep cold drinks well, cold, for the same amount of time and it can be engraved for a more personal feel. Order at, $29.95 
  7. Travel Coffee Grinder — For the die-hard coffee fanatic, who even while hiking a mountain or flying in an airplane prefers freshly ground coffee. With a ceramic burr and an easy grip, this one is perfect for brewing small amounts of coffee out on the road. Hario Slim Mill at, $35
  8. Coffee Tote — Local seller Salt Creek Times creates everything from totes to stockings using recycled coffee jute sack material. Visit her Etsy shop, or find items for sale at Mama Birds, Local Roots and Fredericksburg Market. SaltCreekTimes at, $15.95-$44.95
  9. Coffee Wall Art — The Compendious Coffee Chart print is a comprehensive compendium of the varied ways to produce wondrous, life-giving coffee, as well as the drinks one can concoct by combining coffee with mixers like steamed milk and chocolate. Educational, useful and looks darn good on any wall. By Popchartlab on, $28

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Is there anything better than a warm and gooey cinnamon roll to go with a cup of coffee? If there is, I haven't found it yet.

Thanks to Liz at Oak Grove Coffee Co. for the cinnamon rolls recipe! Of course, I had to go and put chocolate in them.

{Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls}

1/4 ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup softened butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup pecans and walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped (optional)

4 tablespoons butter
1 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons hot water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, softened butter, salt and egg. Mix in 2 cups of flour. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes, then place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour or more.

When doubled, punch down dough. Roll it out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9 inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough (generously), then mix cinnamon sugar mixture over the buttered dough. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate. Beginning at the 15-inch side, roll up dough, then cut into 12 to 25 slices.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

While the rolls bake, mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Spread over cooled rolls.