Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to make a freaking delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte.

It's {almost} officially fall. 
That means any and all devilbucks drinkers go crazy over their pumpkin spice latte.

From here

Now, let's set something straight. I was a barista. I enjoy a good cup of coffee. I enjoy pretty coffee art. Et cetera.

...And I am not a Starbucks drinker.

Yeah. And I'll let you in on a secret. all they do for a pumpkin spice latte is add in a shot of HFCS-filled syrup. 
[Say what????]

Anyway, let's make our own and rebel against Starbucks and their syrup.
-Buy a can of pumpkin puree.
-Brew a really strong cup of coffee.
{I use the smallest cup setting on my Keurig brewer}
-Take a heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin puree, and stir it into your coffee. Add your favorite sweetener (to taste) and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and any other spices you see fit (Cardamom, nutmeg, etc). 
[I don't add too much, because I don't like feeling the spices in my coffee. It's unpleasant to me, but I do add some.]
-Heat up about a cup of milk.
(If you have a milk frother/foamer whatever like I do, use this to achieve the ultimate latte. Otherwise, using warm milk is basically the same thing.)
-Pour the milk right over the coffee/pumpkin spice mixture


I like this better than adding pumpkin and spices and sugar to a regular cup of coffee, because although you are using brewed coffee, not espresso, you can still achieve the latte effect, with the small amount of coffee to the foamed milk ratio that we have going on here. 
I have seen other recipes that suggest mixing up "pumpkin milk", and that was pretty delicious, but it had all the spices in there which I didn't like. With this recipe (It's not really a recipe, more like a tutorial, but whatever this is a food blog, everything is a recipe.), it is completely customizable and you can add as much or as little of anything as you want. I just wanted to bestow upon you the knowledge that I have, having worked with coffee before. 

So, enjoy my lovely darling friends.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Home-Made Pop Tarts

Over the summer, I got on the lazy side and didn't quite feel like making myself a fancy breakfast.
So I went to the pantry, and grabbed a pop-tart. I probably went through two whole boxes by myself.
As much as they did satisfy my grumbly morning tummy, I knew there has to be a way to make them more delicious.

So the obvious answer was Nutella.

I took a dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and instead of going with the healthy option of using fruit jam, I used our favorite nutty-chocolate-y spread.

The result was delicious.

Nutella Pop-Tarts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons milk

Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender, or food processor (I used a food processor), until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible and mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk milk and one egg together in a small bowl. Place dough on a counter or baking board and make a crater in the center of the dough. Pour egg and milk mixture into the crater and knead it in with your hands until it holds together nicely. Add flour if needed.

Divide dough into two rectangles. Roll out until each is 1/4 inch thick. Cut each rectangle into nine 3x3" squares. Place on cookie sheet, brush with egg wash. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of Nutella onto 9 of the squares, cover with another pastry square. Press down edges with a fork and poke holes in the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.