By Dawn Perry
Updated: April 02, 2019

Coffee can wake up way more than your morning. A tablespoon or two lends smoky, sometimes chocolaty flavor to sweet and savory dishes. Try it mixed with spices and dusted over a butter-rubbed chicken for a burnished bird without the grill. Sprinkled on bacon with brown sugar, it’s a buzz-worthy breakfast addition. Or stir it into glazed nuts to give them an unexpected lift. In any recipe, decaf or regular will do just fine.

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1. Ancho Coffee-Rubbed Chicken

While it might seem unusual to coat a chicken with coffee, the result is a perfect balance for the good-quality coffee beans are essential in this recipe, since the flavor is so forward. Ancho chili powder has heat without being too spicy, which makes it a good pairing for the coffee.

Get the recipe: Ancho Coffee-Rubbed Chicken

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2. Coffee-Candied Bacon

As if bacon wasn’t already magical enough, this coffee-candied bacon recipe completely changes the game. It’s amazing what a hot oven, a generous coating of brown sugar, and a spicy coffee rub can do to bacon. The result is irresistible—somewhere between a candy and the most deliciously savory snack in the world.

Get the recipe: Coffee-Candied Bacon

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3. Coffee-Glazed Nuts

Candied nuts can often be too sweet and cloying, but in this coffee-glazed nuts recipe the bitterness of coffee balances out the glaze with its trademark bitterness. The nuts strike the perfect notes of salty and sweet, which means they pair well with everything from a boozy Manhattan cocktail to dry and bubbly champagne.

Get the recipe: Coffee-Glazed Nuts

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