How To Smoothly Incorporate Peanut Butter Into Your Iced Coffee

Coffee is a beloved beverage around the world. Not only do people enjoy its bracing taste and boost of caffeine, but also its compatibility with a wide array of flavors, opening the door to everything from mochas to coconut lattes. It is becoming increasingly popular to add peanut butter to one's daily cup of joe, resulting in a creamy, nutty, and slightly sweet drink. When making iced coffee, however, it can be a challenge to get the nut butter to fully integrate with the coffee, leaving behind unappetizing globs at the bottom of your cup. To solve this, all you have to do is change your approach from stirring to shaking.

Peanut butter is a high-fat ingredient, while coffee is mostly water. This poses a problem. Since fats and water do not mix, peanut butter cannot simply dissolve into your coffee like the average flavored syrup. This goes double for iced coffee since the cold liquid causes the butter to solidify. As a result, stirring peanut butter into your iced coffee is an exercise in futility. Instead, you will want to rely on the power of emulsification — that means suspending tiny particles of the fatty ingredient, peanut butter, in the water ingredient, coffee. Follow these steps to easily emulsify your peanut butter iced coffee.

Soften the peanut butter

Peanut butter that is soft and pliable emulsifies better, as it is less viscous and therefore easier to break up into small particles. For this reason, it's recommended that you warm your peanut butter slightly to soften it. You can do so quickly by microwaving it for a few seconds, though holding a spoonful of the butter over a steaming cup of water will also do the trick.

Choosing the right peanut butter for the job will make a big difference here. You may be tempted to select natural peanut butter since it is runnier at room temperature; However, conventional peanut butter is actually the preferred choice for coffee. Conventional peanut butter often already includes emulsifying agents to prevent it from separating on the shelf, and while a chemical emulsifier isn't required to achieve a good peanut butter iced coffee, it can certainly help achieve the desired result by keeping your drink from separating, too.

Shake to blend

Now down to the technique. The easiest way to emulsify something in the kitchen is by shaking it the same way you shake a salad dressing to combine its components. To do so with your coffee, pour it into a container with a lid, followed by a spoonful of softened peanut butter. Secure the lid, then shake the container vigorously for a minute or two until the butter and coffee are fully combined. Finally, pour over ice and enjoy.

There are also several tools that may help. Whisks are the classic analog kitchen tool of choice for the job, though handheld milk frothers are another affordably priced option. While certainly more expensive and involving more cleanup, an immersion blender or countertop blender are also highly effective tools for achieving an integrated peanut butter coffee.