I can’t help but notice that all the delicious coffees and lattes are saved for the coldest and most festive days of the year. Christmas time is when everyone goes all out with decor and food. Besides the sky high trees sprinkled with gold and silver baubles, I truly enjoy the flavors that are so strongly connected to Christmas. I was in Valencia last week and happened to stumble into a Starbucks (more like harass Siri till she led me to it). Besides being adorned in red and green from wall to wall, they had started serving their specialty drinks. They have pumpkin flavored drinks in the fall, but i’m not a fan. But these christmas ones hit the spot. Who doesn’t like toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mint?
Here are the recipes for a few of my favorites. All you need is one or two extra ingredients and your coffee isn’t just coffee anymore! To give your coffee the cafe touch, just add a swirl of whipped cream on top! And I know that caramel syrup is available in almost every store! If I could find it in Ilmenau, it’s gotta be everywhere! And for these recipes i’m using instant espresso powder. If you have an espresso machine use that obviously, but use the Lungo button(which is basically an espresso but with double the water)
Toffee Nut Latte
1 cup boiling water
1 drop almond extract
1 Tblspn caramel syrup
1 tsp instant espresso powder + 1/2 cup boiling water
3-4 Tblspn warm milk
whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg
Add the instant espresso powder, caramel syrup and almost extract to the boiling water. Make sure you don’t add more than drop of the extract or it’ll make the coffee bitter. Add in the warm milk and top it off with whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk
1-2 drops peppermint extract or 1 T mint syrup
2 Tblspn chopped dark chocolate or 1 1/2 T good quality cocoa powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan warm the milk on medium low heat. Whisk in the extracts and chocolate. Keep whisking occasionally till the milk comes to a boil. then pour into a mug and add some marshmallows or whipped cream.
For this one you’ll need a really good blender. If you’re blender can’t crush the ice finely add only 1/2 a cup.
1 cup ice
1 cup milk
2 Tblspn espresso powder
4 Tblspn sugar
2 scoops coffee or vanilla ice cream
Blend everything together except the ice cream until the ice is completely crushed. Pour into two glasses and top off with whipped cream and a pinch of ground cinnamon.