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Friday, September 19, 2014

Festive Fall Libations!

With the recent chill in the air, we all know that Autumn is just around the corner! We decided to curate a collection of comforting warm beverages!

Melted Ice Cream Hot Cocoa

2 sticks butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp almond extract
2 cups softened vanilla bean ice cream

1) Melt all the ingredients over gentle heat. Whisk until smooth. This becomes your drink base or concentrate.
2) Fill your favorite mug about halfway with the concentrate mix.
3) Add hot water gradually, tasting often until the drink reaches the desired sweetness.  You might have to experiment a few times to get the ratio to your liking.
4) Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
*Concentrate can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
2 tbsp Nutella spread
1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (Optional)
whipped cream to top

1) Heat milk to simmering and remove from heat.
2) Add remaining ingredients.
3) Whisk until fully incorporated.
4) Top with whipped cream.

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

1 cup full fat coconut milk (the kind in a can)
2 cups almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz fine chocolate of your choice
2-3 tbsp heavy cream (if you're lactose intolerant you can replace this with more coconut milk)

1) Mix milks, vanilla, cocoa powder and cream in a sauce pan.  Heat gently.
2) When the mixture is warm, add rough chopped chocolate.
3) Stir often until the mixture simmers
4) Turn the heat off and enjoy!

Coconut Chai Tea Latte (Care of The Cooking Channel)

1 tsp black peppercorn
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced (optional)
6 black tea bags
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1 cup unsweetened regular or low-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp-1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1) Lightly crush the spices and place in a medium saucepan. Add ginger if being used.
2) Add 6 cups of cold water to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
3) Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes.
4) Remove tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes.
5) Add milks and sugar into separate sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
6) Strain tea mixture into milk mixture using a fine mesh sieve. Heat through for 1 minute.
7) Whisk until the mixture is frothy. Pour and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

No-Coffee Pumpkin Latte

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 quart milk
1/4 white sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1) Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat. Using a whisk to blend well.
2) Heat to a simmer. Do not boil.
3) Serve and enjoy!

Hot Maple Apple Cider

6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup REAL maple syrup (preferably Vermont made)
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole all spice berries
1 orange peel, cut into strips
1 lemon peel, cut into strips

1) Pour cider and maple syrup into a large saucepan.
2) Place spices and peels into the center of a square of cheesecloth. Fold up side and create a bundle, securing with kitchen string.
3) Drop spice bundle into the cider mixture.
4) Place saucepan over moderate heat until cider is hot but not boiling.
5) Remove from heat and discard spice bundle.
6) Ladle into mugs and add additional cinnamon stick if desired.