Around a year ago, a great locally-owned market here in Jamaica Plain, City Feed & Supply, did a give-away. They posted a picture on social media of a new product they had just started selling - Coffee Flour - and asked, what would you make with this? Comment and win a bag and a gift card.
Of course I couldn’t resist, so I commented that I would add some to my Thick & Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies, and to my surprise, I won! I never win anything! I was super excited to start exploring with this weird, new ingredient, and after doing some research I found that you can pretty much substitute it for 30% of your regular flour in most baked goods recipes. Though adding it to those chocolate cookies was always my intention, I wanted to start with a recipe that would really highlight the coffee flour by itself, so I could better understand its flavor (which is decided NOT coffee).
Coffee flour isn’t made from coffee beans, so it’s not particularly high in caffeine - similar in content to dark chocolate. What it IS made from is the “cherry fruit” that surrounds the coffee bean. The pulpy fruit pod is dried, and then milled into a fine powder. It’s also pretty high in potassium and iron, and a good source of plant-based antioxidants.
I figured blondies were the perfect recipe - you can’t get much simpler than butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt! I substituted exactly 30% of the flour in my Browned Butter Blondies recipe, skipped the browning of the butter, and used light brown sugar to avoid contributing that delicious molasses-y kick from the dark brown sugar.
These are for sure one of the most unique* baked goods I’ve ever made. Just as coffee flour is made from the coffee cherry fruit, coffee flour imparts a flavor that is decidedly, well, fruity. But - it’s deep, and complex, and…it’s simply hard to describe, but fantastically delicious and interesting. If you like trying new flavors and want to check this out, I highly recommend grabbing a bag. If you’re local to Boston you should pop over to City Feed** and grab some, or if you’re not and you can’t find it in a local store, you can grab a bag of the brand pictured above on Amazon. I never did end up using it in the chocolate cookies because I just coming back to the “wow” factor of these. I’ll put it on my to-do list!
Speaking of which - apologies for the long stretch of radio silence. Planning a wedding is no joke! There’s only a few weeks left to go so I’m likely to be quiet here a bit longer, but will be back in action after a relaxing honeymoon jaunt to Hawaii, and baking up a storm. Keep an eye out for wedding cake pictures too.
*See here for an interesting discussion of whether it is or isn’t grammatically correct to use a modifier alongside the word “unique”
**Many thanks to City Feed for introducing me to this awesome ingredient, and for the gift card with which I purchased many delicious sandwiches <3
2 sticks unsalted butter
1.75 cups light brown sugar (350g)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1.25 cups plus 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose flour (168g)
1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon Coffee Flour (72g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
large microwave-safe mixing bowl
9x13 glass dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 glass dish with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray (or grease with butter or shortening).
Melt 2 sticks of butter in your mixing bowl.
Add 350g light brown sugar (1.75c) and whisk vigorously for about 30 seconds to combine fully.
Add 2 eggs and whisk well to combine thoroughly, then mix in 2tsp of vanilla.
Switch to your spatula, and mix in the dry ingredients (1.25c+2TB AP Flour, 1/2c-1TB Coffee Flour, and 1/2tsp salt) until there are just barely no traces of flour left (if you continue to use the whisk here it’s not going to ruin anything, but as your batter comes together it will clump up in the middle of the whisk and be really annoying to get out.)
Spread the batter evenly in the 9x13 pan, using an offset spatula or back of a spoon to smooth it even.
Bake 23-28 minutes until the center is just not jiggly anymore - don’t overbake these! They’ll finish baking through a little as they cool. Start checking them at 23 minutes and give them 1-2 minutes more at a time until they’re done.
Cool to room temperature, then put them in the fridge to chill for an hour and then cut them cause it will be a little easier if they’re cold. They’ll keep room temp for about 5 days, a week or two in the fridge, or FOREVER if wrapped well in the freezer (especially if you don’t cut them first).
If you’d like to make a smaller batch of these you can cut all the ingredients in half and use a 8x8 pan, but start checking for doneness at 20 minutes.