Pumpkin Spice Latte – Recipe

 I have been wanting to try making a Pumpkin Spice Latte for a little while now and the cool Saturday afternoon with a husband out mountain biking and a kid napping was all the motivation I needed.  Don’t let this fool you, I’m not wishing away summer just yet.  In fact, I’d love a few more months of summer.  Who said Pumpkin has to be a fall treat?

If you search for “Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe” on google, this is the first result.  We had all the ingredients and it sounded easy enough and it was delicious.  It’s less sweet and less bright orange than Starbucks, both of those things I appreciate.

Pumpkin Syrup:
2 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks or 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin

Coffee:
16 oz mug
2 shots of espresso
2-3 tablespoons of pumpkin syrup
steamed or warmed milk
whipped cream (optional essential)

Instructions:

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1.  Combine spices and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then lower temperature and simmer for 20 minutes.  Your kitchen will smell fantastic.
2.  Strain spices by pouring the water through a coffee filter or fine mesh sieve.
3.  Put the spiced water back into the saucepan.  Add pumpkin and sugar and simmer for another 10 minutes.

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3.  Store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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To make the latte, prepare two shots of espresso.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of pumpkin syrup and top with steamed milk and stir.  Add whip cream.  I heard a tip on Martha Stewart (her video on how to make a low fat latte) where you can warm milk in a large canning jar and then put the lid on and shake to froth the milk.  We don’t have a microwave, but I trust most of what Martha says.

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Enjoy!

(Original Source)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yesterday was the first chilly day and first snow here in Minnesota. In spite of what I just overheard the weather man say, Canada is not to blame for the cold air. 🙂 
Whenever the weather is cool, I always crave warm drinks and sweets with spice.  These muffins are some of my favourites and are another Starbucks knock off.  They can also be made gluten free and still delicious!  Enjoy!
Muffin:
3 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten free pantry all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups Sugar
2 cups Pumpkin (canned or homemade)
1 1/4 cups Vegetable Oil
Cream Cheese:
8 oz. Cream Cheese
6 (or so) Tablespoons of Icing Sugar (or Powdered Sugar)
Dash of Vanilla
2 Tablespoons of Butter
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all of the “Muffin” ingredients and fill muffin tins (either greased or with paper cups).  Start by creaming the oil, sugar and eggs and then slowly add the rest of the ingredients.  (I’m a pretty inexact baker, so I apologize to those of you who like more precise instructions.)
3. Using a mixer, mix the “Cream Cheese” ingredients.  Use powdered sugar to taste…more will make it taste like icing, less like regular cream cheese.  You can also just cut the 8 oz of cream cheese into 24 small cubes push them down into the batter.  Also delicious and quite a bit easier.
4.  I used an icing bag to “pipe” the cream cheese into the muffin but you can just drop it by teaspoonful’s (using two spoons) into the muffins and press it down into the batter with your finger.
5.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 24 muffins.

Pumpkin Scones

I looked out the window this morning and realized that most of the leaves have fallen.  I’m still in denial that summer is over, in spite of the reminders of brisk air and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s.

My first year in Wheaton I was SO excited when the Pumpkin Scones and Latte’s arrived at Starbucks.  I got up early the first morning with my friend Melissa only to discover that they had run out of scones already.  Determined not to be defeated I decided to try making them myself and 6 years later these are still a fall favourite (and I must say I like them better homemade).

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
3 tablespoons half and half
1 large egg
6 tablespoons cold butter

Plain Icing:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or half and half

Spiced Icing:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or half and half
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and eggs.
  4. Cut butter into cubes and add it to the dry ingredients.  Use a pastry knife or fork to combine butter with dry ingredients.  You want it to look like sand without any large chunks of butter visible.  You can also use a food processor (which I did) to combine the dry ingredients and butter because it is so quick.
  5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball.  Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 1-inch thick rectangle that is about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Use a large knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough.  I like to make them much smaller than Starbucks (so you can have two).
  6. Bake 14-16 minutes on a baking sheet.  You can oil it, line it with parchment paper OR if you have non-stick cookie sheets like these (which are worth every penny if you like to bake) you don’t need to line or grease the pan.
  7. While scones cool, mix the plain icing in a bowl.  A whisk or spoon works just fine.  When the scones are cool, drizzle a coating of glaze over the top of each scone.  I put the scones on a cooling rack on top of wax paper or aluminum foil to let the excess run over.  (See photo) And there will be excess! 
  8. As the icing firms up, prepare the spiced icing in the same manner as the plain icing.  Drizzle on top.  I like to do it just like Starbucks does in a criss cross pattern.  I just use a spoon and hold it above the scones as the icing drizzles over, but you can use a squeeze bottle or something else too.

Makes 6 Starbucks-size scones or 12 regular-size scones.

Enjoy!