The other morning I walked into Peet’s to get my morning coffee, when something I saw stopped me dead in my tracks. What was it? The wondrous sign announcing the arrival of fall flavors! Despite it being 80 degrees outside, I began picturing pumpkins, cookies, and everything nice about fall. Seriously. Cups of pumpkin and maple lattes began dancing around in my head. Inspired, when I went home that day, I proceeded to make my own Salted Caramel Mocha. Rich, creamy, yet not too sweet, this is the perfect for those crisp winter days.
Ingredients for Mocha (makes 2 servings):
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups milk
Salted Caramel (makes about 1 cup, perfect to use for any other dessert topping!
- -6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- -1/2 cup granulated sugar
- -3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- -1/2 cup heavy cream
- -3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk and bittersweet chocolate on medium heat until the chocolate is melted. Keep the hot chocolate on low so it stays warm.
In a different saucepan, gently heat the corn syrup until it’s warm. You’ll be able to tell because it’ll slightly bubble. Add in the sugar and let it cook over medium heat without mixing it too much. Just enough so it’s the sugar and corn syrup are incorporated. When it turns amber, remove it from the heat and quickly stir in butter. Add the cream in a steady stream while mixing with the other hand. Add in sea salt. If it seems to solidify, keep mixing or gently reheat on low until it’s liquid again.
Finally, mix in two teaspoons of salted caramel into the mocha, and serve!
For those of you that couldn’t be at the Ikea DIY event a few weeks ago, you can catch the flavored drink recipe portion on the Ikea Houston blog! Trust me, you’ll really like this one. Plus it’s crazy simple and you could make jugs of it in about the same time frame that it takes to eat a cupcake. It’s been proven, take my word for it.
Most of the time I claim that green is my favorite color, when clearly I’m just in denial of being a pink kind of girl. Regardless, I love St. Patrick’s Day mostly for being given good reason to make everything green.
To make sure you’re the one pinching and not being pinched, I’ve put together a simple DIY paper backdrop and sweet recipe to incorporate into your holiday (or if you just like the green, I don’t blame you).
- Martha Stewart decorative circle punch
- card stock
First, insert your circle punch of choice onto the track. Select how many inches you’d like the circle to be (6-12 inches), both on the slider on the side, and the bottom plate.
Place the cardstock center over the magnetic circles, and let the magnetic knob and main punch into place over top of their specific magnets.
Press the punch down, then rotate the knob one time, and press the punch again. Repeat until the circle is fully cut-out.Once you have as many circles as you’d like, use a piece of looped tape to tape them into place for your backdrop.
Ingredients for the Irish peppermint shake (1 serving)
- 6 ice cubes
- 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
- 1 drop or 1 of peppermint extract
- green food coloring
- whipped cream for topping
- spalsh of Irish cream or liquor
Blend all of the ingredients together, and then top with whipped cream. Add a striped straw, and they’re ready to serve!
I never deny my love affair with peppermint flavored things, but during the month of December, I let my peppermint flag fly high. Literally. To mark the occasion, I decided to combine this reader favorite recipe with the holiday season to create peppermint eggnog milkshake shots that are perfectly petit enough to fit any party… unless the big and tall section is more your style, in which case you can turn this into a punch bowl recipe.
- Peppermint ice cream
- Peppermint white chocolate bark
- Crushed peppermint
- Sugar water
Blend together 2 parts peppermint ice cream to one part eggnog. Rim the glasses with with crushed peppermint by dabbing them with sugar water and dipping them in peppermint. Fill your glasses with the milkshake mixture and place them in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. Break the peppermint bark into halves and place them on top just before serving.