Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Memoirs of a Peppermint Mocha

All it took was one sighting of that trademark red Starbucks holiday cup and it was all over. You see, I've been making do with flavored creamers, pumpkin lattes and homemade hot chocolates but nothing says "holiday" like that signature peppermint mocha from Starbucks. Now, I am not one to swoon over the coffee conglomerate and in fact, I tend to be a bit "anti-Starbucks" to tell you the truth. I prefer to keep my neighborhood java joints in business. But I have to admit, there is something about walking through the doors of a Starbucks during the holidays that puts a bit of a spring in my step. Maybe it's the bedecked windows and counters, the old fashioned Christmas carols playing and the smell of warmed treats that gets to me. Whatever it is, I am hooked. I fully admit that it is ridiculous to pay upwards of $4 for a "tall" beverage no matter how good. So I am on a mission to recreate that creamy goodness at home for a fraction of the price. Here is what I came up with:

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Recipe (and 5 others)

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Recipe

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 tablespoons powered cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup hot espresso
  • 1.5 cups steamed milk
  1. Stir water and sugar in a pot until sugar dissolves and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract.
  3. Allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Mix cocoa and water in a cup until paste forms.
  5. Add espresso and 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract.
  6. Add milk and serve immediately.

Starbucks Eggnog Latte Recipe

  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup espresso
  • sprinkle of nutmeg (for garnish)
  1. Combine eggnog with milk and steam.
  2. Add espresso shots to steamed mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve immediately.

Starbucks Gingerbread Latte Recipe

Gingerbread Syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh espresso
  • 8 ounces milk, steamed (with a little foam)
  • whipped cream
  • ground nutmeg
  1. Make the gingerbread syrup by combining water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Make sure your pan is large enough so the mixture won’t boil over
  2. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer syrup, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat when it’s done and put a lid on it.
  3. Make a double shot of espresso (1/2 cup), using an espresso machine. Use the machine to steam 8 ounces of milk, or heat up the milk in the microwave if your machine does not foam and steam milk.
  4. Make your latte by first adding 1/2 cup espresso to a 16-ounce cup. Add 1/4 cup gingerbread syrup, followed by the steamed milk. Stir.
  5.  Top off the drink with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serve immediately.

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