I’m goofing off a bit here. Usually I try to make sure I know exactly how things work out before I go bellowing on about them. But 6 weeks is a long time to wait and I know that my plan is working so far, so why not share.
Here is how the story goes. I was in a liquor store buying a bottle of Dripping Springs Vodka because my beans are starting to show. I’d love to know how many of you do not need to read further to know what I’m talking about. But, I make my own vanilla extract, and I’ve used so much of it that my beans are popping up out of the vodka…time to add a little vodka. I set about explaining to the man at the counter what I was up to because I think it is news to be shared. He looked at me like, “lady, you don’t need to make up a stupid story to buy vodka…I’m not your mother.” I was still a little put out that I didn’t get carded when he chimed in, “oh, you need to do the same thing with coffee and vanilla…make your own Kahlua.” Well, I don’t drink, so while I was totally fascinated by the notion, my mind went straight to ice cream and cookies and other things I could lace with a coffee extract.
[Too lazy to fix the illusion...this is neither a 30 pound bag of coffee nor an airline size bottle of vodka...apologies.]
Fast forward a few hours or days. I met the owners of Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters at an Edible Dallas & Fort Worth soiree at the totally neat Garden Café. The Edible gals were celebrating the new cookbook. But the Noble folks, Kevin and Marta Sprague, are the cute couple on the cover of the current issue of Edible Dallas Fort Worth (keep your eyes peeled for a photo of Ford in the cabbage section). They are seriously nice people who are roasting some excellent coffee here in Dallas. They sell at a few local shops and also at some of the farmers markets. And it is really great stuff. This is coming from a person with a serious, very serious, coffee habit. But, having spoken to them for a bit, my mind got quite stuck on the coffee extract idea. I daydreamed a bit more about coffee and baked goods until Saturday rolled about and I went to the White Rock Local Market and picked up some Noble Coyote Beans, Honduras Café Bejucales, to be precise. I bought this one because they said it was a great bean for cold brewing.
At home, I did nothing more than crack the beans a bit and cover them with vodka. At a week hence, I have now used it twice in a forthcoming cookie recipe and it is pretty grand. The reason I say that I don’t know how it is going to work out is only because I don’t know whether I’m going to strain out the coffee beans or just let them steep indefinitely like I do with the vanilla. Unlike my giant bottles of vanilla, I’m just making a small batch of the coffee extract to see what happens. I’m telling you about it because it is fun, and it fires the imagination a bit. I’d love to hear what you would use it for…cocktail or otherwise. I’d also love to know if you have done this before and if so, what sort of beans and vodka you used, and how long you kept the beans in the vodka. I think I’m going to keep mine in and just see if it ever becomes “too “ anything. And, next up….the awesome Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies I made with extract that was only one week old. That is to say…this is a really wonderful idea. It works. I just haven’t hammered out all the details yet.
1 cup vodka
4 tablespoons whole coffee beans
Using a mortar and pestle, gently crack the beans a bit. You are not trying to grind them, merely crack them open. Place the cracked beans a resealable jar and cover with the vodka. Seal with a lid and shake the contents daily for at least a week. After 7 days, the extract can be used in a recipe.
Warning: Obviously, outside of the context of baking, this is booze. Tread lightly. Don’t feed it to kids. And if you drink a coffee extract martini, I’m not coming to give you a ride or peel you off the ceiling, so don’t even call. I cannot recommend this for anything but baking at the moment, so use it sparingly and with care.
And also: Sometimes folks get strange notions that I make a whole lot of money or get free stuff doing this job…I don’t. Nothing is free, anyway, or haven’t you noticed? I buy my own vodka and I bought my own beans. That is to say, I genuinely like both of these products and no one is paying me to say so. I would tell you otherwise, I promise.
Update: A great way to use this extract is in my recipe for Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies!