Throwback Weather, or Mother Nature is Cruel

This week’s weather has been unbearable.  Three days of rain, followed by one gorgeous day of sunshine and 60 degree temps, followed by a weekend of windy, cloudy, dreary, 40 degree blah.  I’ve also caught some sort of ick from the germ monsters in my class (or possibly my husband), so I’m in rather a foul mood.  I needed something easy to lift my spirits, or drown my sorrows, as it were.  This DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte fit the bill, and since the weather is like the first notes of a blustery Autumn, it’s doubly appropriate.  The recipe was adapted from Frugal Dreamer’s blog in the Chicago Tribune’s November 7, 2010 issue.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/recipes/sns-food-recipes-diy-pumpkin-spiced-latte-story.html

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

Note: Adapted from the blog FrugalDreamer.com.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for garnish
1 cup strong brewed coffee
Whipped cream
Cinnamon, optional

Combine milk, pumpkin and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice. Whisk the mixture until foamy. Transfer into two mugs, filling each only half way; top with coffee. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

I was not about to mess around with a saucepan on the stove.  The milk, coffee, and pumpkin went into a glass measuring cup for 3 minutes in the microwave, after which I added the pumpkin spice and vanilla.  After a quick whisk, I poured it in an Irish coffee mug and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

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Verdict:  Delicious.  I don’t treat myself to whipped cream atop my beverages very often, and I did really enjoy it.  The whipped cream added plenty of sweetness.  There is absolutely no need to add 2 tablespoons of additional sugar to this recipe (oh my, I even sound cranky today!).  I’m not sure how different the latte would taste by adding the coffee after mixing all the other ingredients, but I’ll try that next time (there’s probably some important reason that baristas know).

The spices really came through, but the pumpkin didn’t stand out to me.  It was there, especially the more I drank, but it was a subtle aftertaste.  I did notice as this coffee sat that layers started to separate, which was very mesmerizing (I actually stared and watched as it happened).  You might want to keep a spoon handy to stir it up if you are a lingerer.  It was also tricky to keep the spices blended, but it wasn’t an unpleasant situation.  I wonder if blending the spices into the pumpkin would keep them from floating around and getting left behind?

I will definitely make this again, especially now that I have an open can of pumpkin in the refrigerator.  Confession:  I also made this recipe last night but used a shot of pumpkin vodka instead of actual pumpkin. I slept really well last night as a result.  It was tasty that way, too, but I wouldn’t recommend it for early mornings.  ♥

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