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Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Mmm…coffee. It is weird to think that just a few years ago I didn’t consider myself a coffee drinker. I much preferred other sources of caffeine like Red Bull or Coca Cola if I needed an extra kick, but never thought it worked well for me. Instead of being perky and alert, I’d usually end up with a dizzy headache and vow to never drink caffeine again.

A few years ago, something changed. I started liking coffee in small amounts and the headaches subsided. I began to look forward to the seasonal times when I could order a pumpkin spice latte, a ho ho mocha and a fa la latte and discuss the merits of this year’s spice blend with colleagues as we walked back to our cubicles.

Gone are the days of spending $4-5 for a latte (did you hear we’re in a recession, people?) and since I now work from home, driving to a coffee shop each morning isn’t too appealing (plus, I’d have to get out of my pajamas before noon). Instead, I drink black coffee 3 times per week and make fancy coffees on the weekends.

This past weekend, I had the urge for a pumpkin spice latte and just happened to have leftover pumpkin puree from a baking project. I scoured the internet for a good recipe and was surprised that several recipes (from trusted sources) didn’t even include pumpkin in the ingredients. Say what?


Luckily, I found this recipe on The Kitchn (which, by the way, is the host for The Kitchen Cure, which I’ll be participating in) and it was outstanding! My version is similar to the original, but with some changes, which I included below. I brew my coffee in a French press using Peace Coffee. We usually get 3 cups of coffee per pot, which is plenty for the two of us.


Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 2 servings

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups strongly brewed coffee

Directions:
In a small saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, use a wire whisk or shake the mixture in a mason jar.

Divide the milk mixture between two mugs. Add hot coffee and enjoy!

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