One rainy afternoon, my friend showed up with a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough that had a, let’s just say, questionable brown color. She asked me to withhold judgment because the color wasn’t by accident. Rather, it came from a secret ingredient: coffee flour.
How had I never heard of this magical ingredient?! I mean, coffee and flour are two of my favorite things. Upon one bite of her soft, cocoa-like cookies, I knew that I had to get my hands on coffee flour and get baking. And now that I have, I feel strongly that you have to as well.
Read on to hear why, learn what coffee flour is made of, and get tips on how to use it, including my new favorite cookie recipe.
Essentially, coffee flour is the ground pulp of coffee cherries. Once coffee beans are harvested, the dried fruit that once surrounded the beans is discarded. Typically a waste product, the fruit is now being recycled into a nutritious “flour” packed with fiber (reportedly five times that of whole wheat), iron, and antioxidants. Oh, and it’s naturally gluten-free!
But — you will either rejoice or mourn to learn this — coffee flour does not taste like coffee. It has hints of roasted cherry and pairs wonderfully with dark chocolate, but it does not taste like your morning brew.
Most recipes call for a mixture of regular flour and coffee flour (unfortunately it’s not a great gluten-free replacement for flour). A good rule is to substitute 15-25% of all-purpose flour with coffee flour. Think of it more as a way to boost nutrients and antioxidants, and flavor too.
Coffee flour works in a number of baked goods, like this Coffee Coffee Coffee Cake at Epicurious (yes, please!), but I decided to test it with chocolate chip cookies. You can tell by the photos below that it imparts a dark, fudgy-like color. My family loved (inhaled) them and enjoyed not being able to place exactly what made them so unique. I hope yours will too!
You can find coffee flour at some online marketplaces, but I get mine at Trader Joe’s, because easy breezy. You know, if you live near one.
Chocolate Chip Coffee Flour Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup coffee flour*
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 heaping cup chocolate chips (I love Trader Joe’s dark chocolate chunks!)
1. Whisk flour, coffee flour, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand held mixer, cream butter and sugars until thoroughly combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly.
4. Slowly add flour mixture and blend until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
5. Using a small cookie scoop (yields about 2-inch cookies), scoop dough onto cookie sheet. Chill the dough for at least an hour before baking.
6. About halfway through chilling time, preheat oven to 350 degrees. When ready, remove dough from fridge and bake cookies for 9 minutes, or until the tops are just set. It will be hard to judge doneness by color, so keep an eye on them and take them out a minute early if you’re not sure (they are better under-baked than over-baked). Cool slightly, and enjoy!
*NOTE: 1/2 cup of coffee flour gives the cookies a distinct taste and slightly gritty texture that we love, but I’ve also tested the cookies with 1/3 cup coffee flour and the flavor is equally delicious and a little more subtle. Start there if you think that’s more your speed.