Friday, February 4, 2011

No espresso machine? No Problem. Homemade Peppermint Mochas

I used to be the type of girl who went to Starbucks everyday her coffee.  And when I say everyday, I mean every day.  Sometimes twice a day.  I'd spend about $3.50 for a fancy drink and another $1.00 for tip.  That's at least $130 a month!  My grocery budget isn't even that much now.  It was an addiction for me...  One that took many years to break.

I still like going to the coffee shop to treat myself, especially after Thanksgiving when the peppermint mochas first come out.  It's just one of those things that makes me really happy and I look forward to them every year.

Today is one of those days where I would love a peppermint mocha...  It's cold and cloudy and I have the day off.  I can't get to Starbucks because I don't have a car (Matt is at work) and, honestly, I don't want to spend $4.50 on a drink knowing that the groceries for tonight's dinner (chicken coq au vin with roquefort potato gratin) didn't cost that much. 

Still, I would like a peppermint mocha.

I know it's really not the time for peppermint but I still have candy canes leftover from Christmas.  I figured it can't be that hard to recreate one of my favorite drinks so I tried it out.  I think I was pretty successful. 

Peppermint Mocha (about a 16 oz cup)

1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 of a candy cane
2 Tbsp ground coffee (or whole beans)
chocolate sauce or powder to taste

If you're using ground coffee, place grounds in the center of a filter.  Create a little pouch (see pictures below) and tie off using a twist tie.

Coffee into filter.
 Pouch into milk.
 Milk becomes flavored with coffee.

Bring the milk to a boil with the candy cane in a small pot.  Take off the heat and place your coffee pouch in the pot and let sit for about five minutes.  Remove the pouch from the milk and gently squeeze, being careful not to tear the filter.  Put milk back on the heat and once it starts to simmer, turn off stove.  Add chocolate to taste.  The candy cane should be melted.  Serve with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.

I only had ground coffee but you can also steep whole beans (without making a filter purse) for five minutes and then strain the milk into another pot.  Discard the beans and follow procedure above.

For peppermint hot chocolate, omit coffee.

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