Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Caramel Spiced Pumpkin Latte

One thing I love about the onset of October is the all-of-a-sudden-everything-pumpkin craze. To decorate. To eat. To drink.

I find that most people, when it comes to pumpkin-flavored food and drink, lie in one of two camps: 

Yum. or Yuck. 

I happen to love most all pumpkin things...and I do happen to like the phenomenon known as Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I have found that at my three local Starbucks locations, it's difficult to get a consistent drink...mainly seasonal beverages. I was elated to find that the Starbucks located in my grocery store has a manager who makes The. Best. PSL I have ever ordered. 

But...I also like to be conscious of spending, and so I began a search for a way to make them at home. There are a bunch of recipes out there...some are too pumpkiny...some are just gross...I began to get discouraged. I finally saw one (and now I can't remember which site it was from...I'll update when I find it) and knew it had to be The One. 

And it was.

With temperatures finally reminiscent of what the beginning of fall should look like, I made some of the syrup today...and then got the crazy idea to add another favorite fall flavor to make a latte: caramel.

Here's what I did:

Caramel Spiced Pumpkin Latte

1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (recipe below)
1/4 cup hot brewed caramel-flavored coffee (I used The Fresh Market's Caramel Macchiato)
1/2 cup milk
pumpkin pie spice, for garnish

1. In a frother, (I have this one) pour 1/2 cup milk and heat for about 1 minute. Watch carefully to keep from boiling. Once heated, froth the milk until it doubles in volume.
2. In your favorite coffee mug, pour pumpkin spice syrup. I used close to 2 Tbsp. Pour coffee over syrup and fill the mug with the frothed milk. Stir gently.
3. Dust foam with pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
yields about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3-5 cinnamon sticks 
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 - 3 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.  Add cinnamon sticks and remaining spices. Cook for 5 minutes; stir occasionally. Do not let mixture boil. 
2. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
3. Using a fine sieve, strain all the syrup over a 4-cup measuring cup. Rinse the sieve. Place a funnel over storage bottle/container. Place sieve over the funnel and carefully pour the syrup through the sieve once more, taking care not to spill or splatter.
4. Store in refrigerator. 

I thought it would be fun to dress up my syrup.

I found this 16 oz. bottle with pour spout at my grocery store for a couple dollars.

To make the label, I took a small tag distressed with walnut ink (purchased years ago). 

I added a strip of Basic Grey's orange dotted vellum tape (similar here) around the bottom of the tag and stamped a pumpkin in the center with a brown Staz-on ink

To attach and finish the tag, I wrapped a piece of twine around the neck of the bottle twice, placed both ends of the twine through the tag and tied a bow.

This would a lovely gift...I'd use a 1/2 to 1 cup bottle to get more gifts out of each batch of syrup. Add a cute mug and bag of coffee beans with a recipe in a basket and you have a fabulous hostess or "just because" gift!

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This is Day 23 of 31 Days: Crafting a Creative Life. You can find an archive of all the posts from this series here. Thanks for joining me this month!


Kelly said...

Sounds pretty awesome!

Carol said...

You know you are so right - I'm afraid I'm one of the "Yuck" people and have knew understood the pumpkin everything craze. Have never liked pumpkin pie or for that matter pumpkin anything (well, other than decorating with them! :-) )

Jen Kershner said...

I am def a "yum" person although, sadly, I don't like coffe! A psl is as close as I have gotten though! I so badly want to like it.

Zitronenfalter L. said...

Thank you so, so much for sharing!
I tried so many different recipies, and they all where...meh.
But this one is so perfect!
In Germany, Starbucks offers PSL only during october, and I LOVE everything pumpkin so much, that just one month of PSL isn't enough!


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