Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte

I love coffee...specifically, I love Peet's Coffee. One of the great tragedies of living in Virginia is that there is not a Peet's Coffee in the entire state. Yes, I can purchase bags of their coffee beans at Target, but there is nothing quite like picking out fresh beans (in a variety of types / blends) and enjoying a fresh beverage in the store. Last month, my folks blessed us with a care package containing 2 pounds of my favorite beans -- Arabian Mocha Java. We were so excited because (1) it's Peet's Coffee and (2) we can't buy this type of bean at the grocery store. Thanks Mom & Dad!

I really, really love to prepare Peet's in my stovetop espresso maker. Most mornings, Brett prepares a regular cup of coffee for me while I get the girlies ready for school. (Isn't he a sweet man?) But, when I have the time, I love to make some espresso for a "fancy" drink. Honestly, it doesn't take long to use this maker, but you do have to pay attention to it until your espresso is ready. Otherwise, you can ruin your drink and your machine. On my multi-tasking mornings, this just doesn't work.

Earlier this month when my sister-in-law Rachelle was here, I broke out the espresso maker to make some fancy drinks for us. I also went a step further and made some Gingerbread Syrup. Oh my! It was so delicious that I had to share this recipe!

Gingerbread Syrup
This recipe was inspired by my Lime Ginger Ale Syrup. Instead of adding lime juice, I added some spices!

1 cup water
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slices
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Put the water and the ginger slices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to steep for about 30 minutes. Strain infused ginger water into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add enough water to make a full cup. Clean out saucepan and return ginger water to the pan. Add sugar, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Add cloves and cinnamon. Use a funnel to transfer to a clean, glass bottle with a lid. Allow to cool and then store in the refrigerator.

Gingerbread Latte

2 ounces (1/4 cup) hot espresso - you can follow this stovetop espresso tutorial
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) Gingerbread Syrup
about 1/2 cup half-and-half, milk, or combination

While the espresso is being made on the stovetop, froth & steam your milk.** In a preheated mug, pour in the gingerbread syrup. If your syrup has been refrigerated, you may want to heat it up in the microwave for a bit. Add the hot espresso and stir to combine. Top with your steamed half-and-half or milk. Give it a gentle stir to combine. Enjoy!

**To make steamed milk, you need to froth the milk a little bit and then heat it up in the microwave. I use my Magic Bullet and blend the milk for about 15 seconds or so to froth it. Then, I remove the blade, and microwave the cup with the milk for about 45 seconds or until hot. The foam will develop when the milk is heated. You can also froth milk with something like this Aerolatte Milk Frother.

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