Serious Eats: Recipes

How to Combine Peanut Butter and Coffee: Three Blended Drinks

[Photograph: Peanut Butter & Co.]

When talking to people about the idea of "gourmet" peanut butter, I often find myself making comparisons to coffee.

The raw ingredients for both are roasted seeds. In the case of peanuts, a legume, it's the shelled kernel of the plant. In the case of coffee, it's the seed of the coffee fruit, often referred to as a coffee cherry.

There are different peanut cultivars of peanuts (Virginia, Runner, Valencia, and Spanish); the same is true for coffee (Arabica and Robusta). And like coffee, peanuts taste different when they are grown in different regions. And then there's the roast—longer roasting times mean darker, richer flavor, and everyone has their own thoughts about what is the perfect roast.

The other day, the entire crew at Peanut Butter & Co. HQ was getting a little tired around 3 p.m. Our sprightly intern Stephanie (of peanut butter sushi fame) sensing our communal descent into a listless funk sprang into action, whipping up peanut butter-laced frozen coffee drinks. The caffeine buzz helped us get through the day, but I think the added boost of protein and energy from the peanut butter certainly helped as well.

After she served the first round of drinks she tinkered with the recipes for a while. These were some of our favorites.

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

With the weather getting warmer, we expect to be enjoying this kind of afternoon refreshment on a regular basis. Got any other favorite iced or blended coffee drink of your own to share?

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