Starbucks copycat Cheese danish

Starbucks copycat cheese danish

This copycat cheese danish will quickly become your new favorite breakfast!

Copycat cheese danish

Hey yall.  I have a little bit of a secret to share.  I love Starbucks.  That’s no secret really.  The big secret is that I am obsessed with their cheese danishes.  I’d say about 80 percent of time I run by for a cup of coffee, I’ll grab a cheese danish.  Gah.  They are my favorite.  So flaky and warm.  And full of cream cheese goodness. 

As much as I love them I always feel a little bad for buying one because they seem so easy to make.  So this past weekend I decided to try my hand at making them at home. 

Copycat Starbucks cheese danish recipe

I was so excited when I nailed the recipe at home.  It was perfectly flaky and full of cream cheese goodness.  Just like the Starbucks version!  But at home!  Which means I can make them anytime and even in my pajamas!  Yessss!

I wasn’t the only happy one in the house – Ryon ate more then his fair share of these cheese danishes.  We each had a couple the afternoon I made them then polished them off the next morning.  I may have burned my mouth on hot cream cheese because I couldn’t wait for it to cool for breakfast. 

Starbucks copycat cheese danish

Do you secretly love these cheese danishes from Starbucks as well?  Since my love of these flaky pastries is no longer one, I thought I’d share the super easy recipe today.  Just be sure to let the cream cheese cool before biting into one of these bad boys!

Starbucks copycat Cheese danish
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking sheet.
  2. Unfold the puff pastry and slice it into small rectangles.
  3. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. While the pastries are cooking, whip together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract.
  5. Remove the pastries from the stove and use a spoon to press an oval into the center.
  6. Spoon a tablespoon into the oval and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  7. Allow to cook until the edges of the pastry are golden brown.
  8. Remove, allow to cool and enjoy!

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Copycat Starbucks cheese danish!  Make this easy copycat recipe at home!

Cranberry bliss bars

Cranberry bliss bar copycat recipe

Seasonal treat made at home for a fraction of the cost?  Check and check! 

Cranberry bliss bar recipe

Yesss!!  It’s officially cranberry and eggnog and peppermint season!  I don’t think I need to explain that I classify my seasons based on food and not their temperatures.  I’m that person.  And I have no shame.  

We have moved from the pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon season into holiday baking and comfort foods.  Seriously – my favorite time of year.  Bring on the cranberry bliss bars and peppermint cookies!

Cranberry bliss bar copycat recipe

It’s an odd thing because I really love baking cookies but not many of them end up on the ole blog.  I think I make cookies at least once a week.  Sometimes it a new creation but most of the time is a classic.  Sugar cookie or chocolate chip.  My kids are a BIG fans of the classics and I’m always happy to help eat cookie dough.  

I think Ryley is almost to the point where she can make cookies on her own.  I think if I had a hand mixer instead of a big Kitchenaid I would let her try them.  But the fear of her little hand getting caught in the mixer just terrifies this mama.  

Maybe I will give her a good spatula and let her go to town this week.  Just lay out all the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and watch her work.  

Cranberry bliss bars

I made these cranberry bliss bars this past week and they received mixed reviews from the kids.  They loved the white chocolate and the cream cheese frosting on the bar, but what were those purple things momma?  They carefully picked those out and handed them to me.  

But the hubby liked them a bunch!  I ate at least 2 of them before sending them off with him to church.  We had a Thanksgiving service on Wednesday night and he took the kids so I could cook.  I sent him up with two sleepy kids and a plate full of these cranberry bliss bars.  I think they made it to church but I couldn’t be too sure. 

4.8 from 5 reviews
Cranberry bliss bars
Author: 
Serves: 12 bars
 
Ingredients
  • Bars:
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ tablespoon of butter, softened
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Drizzle:
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips
  • additional dried cranberries and white chocolate chips
  • additional orange zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking liner.
  2. Cream together the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix to incorporate but don't over mix ingredients.
  4. Mix in the flour, cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter onto your prepared cookie sheet. Spread out evenly. (Mine took up about half of a large cookie sheet.)
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center and the edges are JUST starting to brown. You don't want to over bake the bars.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. For the frosting - mix together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. If too thick to spread add a tablespoon of milk to thin.
  9. Spread over cooled bars and top with the additional cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  10. For the drizzle - melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in 15 second intervals. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the bars and garnish with additional orange zest.
  11. Allow the white chocolate to harden before cutting.
  12. Enjoy!

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Starbucks chocolate chunk cookie recipe - copycat!

Starbucks chocolate chunk cookies 

How to make your own iced vanilla chai latte!  It's easier then you think and will save you some serious $$$

Vanilla iced chai latte

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Cranberry bliss bars!  Make these Starbucks seasonal treat at home for a fraction of the cost!

Butterbeer latte

Butterbeer latte!  Harry Potter inspired drink!

Love Harry Potter AND coffee?  You have got to try this butterbeer latte!

Butterbeer latte! Harry Potter inspired drink recipe

Yessss!  I am so so excited to share today’s drink recipe with yall!  FOR SO MANY REASONS!  First and foremost – I am a Harry Potter nerd.  I love love the whole Harry Potter series and have read all the books multiple times.  I’ve seen all the movies and if there is a HP marathon on TV, well, I’m busy.  I love them THAT much.  

Funny side story about HP.  When Ryon and I first started dating the last Harry Potter book (the Deathly Hallows part 2) had just come out.  We turned date night into “Kelley needs the last HP book” night and made a trip to Barnes and Noble to buy it.  There was a huge display when you first walked in and I squealed from excitement.  I grabbed a book and so did Ryon.  He flipped to the back page and looked up at me and said “Poor Harry!”  

Not.even.kidding!  I was SO mad at him!  I avoided him the rest of the night and still hold a slight grudge against him for hurting my Harry Potter loving heart.  (Side note – that’s not how the book ends, thank goodness!)  

Butterbeer latte! Harry Potter inspired drink!

In the books and movies they talk about butterbeers a lot.  They are a drink that the students from Hogwarts drink when out and about.  You can even order one at Disney in their Harry Potter world.  Which is great if you live close to Disney, but I want a butterbeer all.the.time.  Or at least a few times a year.  

My firs time trying a copycat butterbeer was a year or so ago when my blogging friend Diana posted a “how -to” order one at Starbucks.  Say whaaa?!?  Coffee and Harry Potter?  My life is complete!  I immediately went and ordered one and yes, my life truly was complete.  Until it was gone.  

So I present to you the make-at-home butterbeer latte!  Or the make-all-the-time butterbeer latte.  Or the make-while-watching-a-Harry-Potter-marathon butterbeer latte.  Whichever.  

To make this delicious drink at home you will need English toffee syrup, caramel syrup and instant espresso.  (I LOVE this Grandos double espresso!)  Or if you have a way to make espresso at home – even better!  

4.5 from 4 reviews
Butterbeer latte
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon English toffee syrup
  • 1 tablespoon caramel syrup
  • 1 cup of milk
  • whipped cream and caramel sauce for topping
Instructions
  1. Stir in the instant espresso in the boiling water until dissolved.
  2. In a glass add the English toffee and caramel syrups. Pour the hot espresso mixture over and combine.
  3. Pour in the milk and give a quick stir.
  4. Top with whipped cream and caramel.
  5. Enjoy!

Like this copycat drink recipe?  Be sure to check out:

Vanilla Latte recipe!

Vanilla latte

Easy smores frappucino recipe! Make this bad boy at home!

Smores frappuccino

Perfect holiday drink - peppermint mocha!

Peppermint mocha

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Butterbeer latte recipe!  This easy recipe is inspired by Harry Potter!

Passionfruit Lemonade

Passionfruit lemonade recipe!  Starbucks copycat and so easy to make at home!

Passionfruit lemonade is sweet and fruity and perfect for summer. 

Tazo passionfruit lemonade

I know you are still wondering, and the answer is yes.  Yes, I am still binge watching How I met your mother on Netflix.  I’m on season 3 now.  There are only 9 seasons.  No big deal.  And I only watch at night when the kids are in bed.  And I can totally stop at any time.  I’m not addicted.  Pfffft. 

After every few episodes Netflix will ask you “Are you still watching?”  Yes.  Yes, I am.  Thanks for judging me Netflix. 

How to make a passionfruit lemonade at home

The show is set in New York City.  I’ve never been to the big apple but have always wanted to visit.  I’ve been to other big cities – Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Honolulu and Chicago to name a few.  I went to Chicago with Ryon’s sister, cousin and our future sister in law a few years ago.  We drove from Michigan and it was only a 4 hour drive. 

I was the driver.  I got to drive all around Chicago because the other girls were a little scared.  And to be honest, so was I.  Especially since we had rented a Prius.  

Passionfruit lemonade recipe!  Starbucks copycat and so easy to make at home!

Once we got to our hotel though we decided to ride the train.  None of us had ever ridden on a train so it was exciting/nerve wrecking all at the same time.  We also missed one of our stops and ended riding the train to the bad side of town before we turned around.  And then on the way back, our train broke down in a tunnel.  No AC and we were stuck under ground.  We all freaked out a bit. 

We only made that mistake once.  We drove the rest of the trip.  

Passionfruit lemonade copycat recipe

We went to all the fun tourist-y places.  The aquarium, the observatory, the Michigan mile.  We ate at the Cheesecake factory, Ghiradelli, Hershey and a few other yummy places.  I think we ate more then we did anything else.  Which is a-OK with me. 

Ryon was stationed in Chicago when he first joined the Navy many moons ago.  He swears he knows the best places to eat and the super cool un-tourist-y places to see.  One day we all hope to go back with him as our guide.  He keeps talking about duck fat fries and giant deep dish pizzas from Gino’s East.  I tell him “Don’t you promise me a good time like that and don’t come through.” 

Of course HIMYM and Chicago have absolutely nothing to do with Passionfruit lemonade.  But it is a delicious drink that you will want to true asap.  It’s a little bit tart and a little bit sweet.  It’s perfect for a party and as you can see from the picture of Ryley, kids love it! 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Passionfruit Lemonade
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tazo Passionfruit iced tea bags - http://amzn.to/1PxfPKF
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of lemonade, homemade or store bought
Instructions
  1. Brew the tea bags according to the package.
  2. Allow to cool and pour into a pitcher.
  3. Add the lemonade.
  4. Add ice before you drink.
  5. Enjoy!

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S’mores Frappuccino

Easy smores frappucino recipe!  Make this bad boy at home!

A summer time classic – made mobile in this easy s’mores frappuccino! 

Smores frappucino recipe!

When I graduate college I was lucky and scored a job immediately.  Ryon had moved back to Michigan and I followed him up there just a month after walking the stage.  I was excited to start my new job even though I was a little scared of being in a whole new state, with no friends and family.  I remember following behind Ryon as he showed me how to get to my new office – two towns away.  It was raining and I was wearing a suit and heels for the first time – ever. 

I got out of the car and almost twisted my ankle as I walked into the building.  Welcome to enterprise rent-a-car!

Easy smores frappucino recipe! Make this yummy drink at home!

That’s right.  My first job out of college was with the rental car company.  I didn’t know much about the company, except the few things I had researched before my interview.  They were started in 1957 by an old Navy pilot.  That’s really all I knew walking in. 

I learned a lot my first few weeks on the job.  First being my office was in the bad part of town.  We could literally see hookers across the street and there were police raids every so often.  There were tons of boarded up building around our office and when we had to pick up a customer, we normally went in pairs. 

Smores frappucino! Make one at home instead of heading to the coffee house!

Wearing heels to work wasn’t the best idea either.  I spent a lot of time washing cars in them and went the rest of the day with soaking wet pantyhose and shoes.  Plus it was cold and there was snow.  Two things I was not accustom to coming from South Texas.  I learned pretty quick how to drive in the snow and even took a few spins in some cars. 

And I even had the privilege of pushing an Aveo out of the snow.  In heels.  While it was storming.  

How to make a smores frappucino at home!

I can’t say it was all bad.  The people I worked with were amazing.  Enterprise liked to hire naive college grads and throw us all together.  It was really like a hunger games sort of thing looking back.  But we bonded over the long hours and the miserable pay.  We spent many nights at a local bar just laughing and complaining about work.  We became a family and helped each other whenever possible. 

Two of my bridesmaids were fellow enterprise co-workers.  The job may have sucked but the people were the best.

Easy smores frappucino recipe! Make this bad boy at home!

I attribute that job for my love of coffee.  We had to be at work at 7 AM and I lived about 45 minutes away.  I would drink a cup before I left, grab one on the way and then have a few at the office.  We all drank coffee to keep us going during the day.  And the company supplied it, so we took advantage of having it on tap. 

Now?  I still have a crazy love for all things coffee.  My palate has grown a little bit and I like good coffee.  (And by good I mean full of sugar and super sweet.)  I also like being able to make fancy coffee at home, in my pajamas.  So when a certain coffee house announced they were coming out with a new frappuccino, of course I had to try my hand at it at home.  In my pajamas.  I present the s’mores frappuccino!  With marshmallow fluffy topping.  (I whispered that to myself like Brick from the Middle.  No judging.) 

I hope you enjoy!  In your pajamas.  (Optional of course.) 

5.0 from 2 reviews
S'mores Frappuccino
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1½ cup of ice
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon Torani s'mores syrup - http://amzn.to/1EdvFlf
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce
  • ½ cup marshmallow fluff
  • chocolate sauce and graham crackers for topping
Instructions
  1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a blender and mix.
  2. Pour into a glass, top with marshmallow fluff.
  3. Add crumble graham crackers and chocolate sauce on top.
  4. Enjoy!

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Easy s'mores frappuccino recipe!  Make this easy drink at home

 

Starbucks Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Copycat starbucks chocolate chunk cookie recipe - no seriously!

Look!  I made you copycat Starbucks chocolate chunk cookies! 

Chocolate chunk cookie recipe - Starbucks copycat!

To be completely honest I made them for me.  And I made them in no-spend January because all I wanted last month was Starbucks cookies.  Like I needed these cookies!  No, I’m not pregnant and was having cravings.  I just really love these cookies and when you can’t have something you want – you want it even more, right?  Right.  So I wanted these cookies pretty much daily.  I thought about them, I wondered if breaking my no-spend was worth it, I might have even dreamed about them.

Which would be completely and totally crazy, but it might have happened. 

Copycat starbucks chocolate chunk cookie recipe - no seriously!

And then I figured – umm, self, why don’t you just try to make them at home since the grocery store isn’t part of no-spend month?  Ok, I didn’t say that last part to myself, but I made sure to pick up the extra ingredients when I went shopping next.  Which really wasn’t much – some whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chunks

And you’re probably wondering how did you know to buy that stuff?  I’m a baking genius.  And I found the ingredient list on the Starbucks website.  [Go with the second answer.]

starbucks copycat recipe

Even with the ingredient list it wasn’t crystal clear.  There were no amounts and what the heck are niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin??  I’m not sure but with my assistant by my side, we started taste testing cookies one night.  I tried different amounts of baking soda and baking powder to see if they fluffed up enough.  I tried chilling the dough to see if that made a difference.  I tried eating the dough straight from the bowl just to see if that helped. 

It did.

Starbucks chocolate chunk cookie recipe - copycat!

Although these are not as thick as the Starbucks version, they do have the same consistency.  They are slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.  And they are a spot on copycat taste wise.  Except I might have made these in my pajamas with my daughter.  And when I say I might have, you know that I mean I did.  I did make these in my pajamas with my sweet girl.  And we ate a bunch of the dough together. 

What?  I already mentioned the dough eating?  Just want to make sure we are clear on where I stand on raw cookie dough consumption. 

Starbuck chocolate chunk cookie

To recap – I spent a month trying not to spend money.  That included trips to the motherlands; Target and Starbucks.  To cope with said restrictions I holed up in my house in my pajamas and made a copycat version of the cookie I may or may not have dreamed about.  This is that cookie.  This should be made as soon as possible and drink it with a huge glass of milk or a dirty iced chai latte.  That last part is your call. 

4.5 from 2 reviews
Starbucks Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup semi-sweet milk chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream the butter and the two sugars together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Mix together all the dry ingredients - both flours, baking soda and baking powder.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  6. Add in both chocolate chips and stir until combined.
  7. Drop ⅓ cup spoonfuls of dough on a silicone baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  9. Enjoy!

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You have got to try this copycat Starbucks chocolate chunk cookie recipe!  It tastes exactly the same - with a crisp outside and chewy middle!  Click for the recipe

Top 5 Starbucks Copycat Recipes Ebook

Top 5 Starbucks copycat recipes ebook!  Get it free today and make your favorite drinks at home!

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you that I have a thing for copycat Starbucks drinks.  I’ve made quite a few here on the ole blog and they are always pretty popular.  Yall like copycat Starbucks recipes too!  So I compiled the top 5 most requested drinks and made a little ebook. 

Top 5 Starbucks copycat recipes ebook!  Get it free today and make your favorite drinks at home!

And its freeeee!  Well sorta.  Its doesn’t cost money, just a little time and a few clicks.  For signing up for our recipe updates, Ill send you my first ebook!  No money required, although I’m sure you will save some once you check out the recipes.  The copycat recipes included are:

  • Iced chai latte
  • Peppermint mocha
  • Pumpkin spice latte
  • Iced white chocolate mocha
  • Iced caramel macchiato – my all time favorite!

The cool thing about the ebook is that it should work on your smartphone.  [Depending on what smart phone you have.]  Which means whenever you get the hankering for a Starbucks drink at home – just grab your phone and the ebook will be right there!  That sort of saves time and money.  Boom.

Ok, ok.  Enough talking about these easy make at home copycat recipes.  Enter your email below and you can claim your own free ebook!  [Once you confirm your subscription, an email will be sent to you with the link to download the ebook.  Super easy, but let me know if you have any problems!] 

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And if you are on social media, be sure to tag your copycat recipes with #thegrantlife so I can check them out!  I am really excited to share these recipes with yall.  I hope you enjoy and be on the look out for even more copycat recipes.  [Its kind of my thing!] 

Eggnog Latte

Easy eggnog latte

The quickest way to get in the holiday spirit?  An eggnog latte! 

Easy eggnog latte!  Starbucks hack

Ryley had her winter recital this Saturday.  [Side note – that little girl makes me so proud.]  She started the semester late this year and I wasn’t sure if she would pick up the routine quick enough.  She started a month behind but two weeks before the recital she seemed to have really picked up the 3 routines.  I asked her teachers if they had extra costumes to buy in the studio.  I figured they would say no, but asked anyways.  [I also figured they already knew I was a crazy dance mom, so I asked anyways.]

Easy eggnog latte

They had extras!  I had Ryley try one on and she ran the other way to show her friends.  She wouldn’t take it off, so that pretty much sealed the deal.  I sort of felt bad because I made the decision without asking Ryon.  I called and told him after class and he was so excited.  He couldn’t wait to see his pretty girl dance.  [Second side note – Ryley calls herself “daddy’s pretty girl”.  She will say to him “Daddy, did you miss your pretty girl?”  I die laughing ever time.] 

Cant wait to try this amazing eggnog latte recipe!

Last week the girls had a dress rehearsal and she did so good.  Since it was a short class, they had a little holiday party after.  I volunteered to bring cookies, so guess what I was doing an hour and a half before rehearsal?  Spooning out chocolate chip cookie dough onto silicone baking sheets.  Oh and making dinner too.  I told Ryon “I’m really good at multi-tasking when I’m under pressure.”  [I crack myself up by the way.]

Starbuck copycat eggnog latte recipe

The place that she takes dance has a really neat recital setup.  They have 3 different classes perform their 3 songs separately and then they all come back on stage for the finale.  They start with the younger kids and then end with the older ones.  [All done in 45 minutes.]  The little ones are 18 months and oh my gerd are they precious.  One little girl was too busy trying to pull her bow out to dance.  When she finally got it out she started to bawl her eyes out.  One of the teachers ran over to her and clipped it back in and the little girl started dancing again.  So.stinkin.cute! 

ryley dancing

When it was Ryley’s turn to dance, I got choked up.  I think I cried/laughed through the whole thing.  Ryon was recording and at the end he put the camera on me and says “Proud momma over here” and got a nice close up of my red face.  What can I say?  She makes this momma proud!  [Ps.. how adorable is her hair?!  She complained the whole time I was braiding it and when I was done ran over to Ryon and said “Do you like your pretty girl’s hair?”  I just can’t even.] 

Eggnog Latte
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Ingredients
  1. 2 shots of espresso or strong coffee
  2. 1 cup steamed milk
  3. 1 cup warm eggnog
  4. whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Layer the espresso, steamed milk and eggnog.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Add whipped cream.
  4. Enjoy!
the Grant life http://thegrantlife.com/

 

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Peppermint Mocha

Peppermint Mocha - Starbucks copycat!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Enjoy it with the most wonderful drink of them all!

Peppermint Mocha - Starbucks copycat!

We took family pictures this past weekend!  Might not seem like a big deal, but we haven’t had family pictures taken since Avery was a few months old.  He’s almost 4 now.. so yea.  It’s been awhile.  Wait.  I take that back.  We had group pictures taken with my in-laws 2 years ago.  But still, it’s been awhile since we had them done.  So I was pumped.  [The husband not so much, but he loves me so he faked it.] 

Peppermint Mocha Recipe

We all had coordinating red outfits and headed off to Heritage Park downtown.  It’s this cool little historic section of the city that has old time-y houses.  They are all centered around a small courtyard and even have a pretty rose garden on the side.  It’s really a neat place to take pictures.  I giggled a little when we got out of the car and could see 4 different families having their pictures taken.  It’s pretty popular for picture taking. 

Perfect holiday drink - peppermint mocha!

I had taken pictures for a friend there last week and knew it was a great place for family pictures.  Its shaded by trees so there is no direct sunlight [and no squinty eye pictures!] and there are like 8 different houses in the park.  The houses are locked, but they have gorgeous porches and railings that are just perfect for pictures.  And when the kids get antsy [because you know they will] just move to the next house.  It worked out so well that we loaded up and headed that way for our pictures.

This peppermint mocha is the perfect drink for the holidays!

And since I’m cheap [or thrifty, whatevs], I had my mom take our pictures.  I took a few pictures of the kids, got the settings right and handed her the camera.  It was kinda of fun to be on the other side of the camera.  I have been taking pictures for this site for almost 4 years now and just recently started doing family photography on the side.  I’ve taken a lot of pictures, but very rarely am I the one being photographed. 

The perfect peppermint mocha!

She took over 200 pictures in less then an hour.  Crazy, huh?!  I sorted through them all and we have a ton of good ones!  I even ordered our Christmas cards with one of the pictures that same night.  I’m so pumped to go pick them up and send them off!  I don’t think I’ve sent Christmas cards in 4 years either.  Nope.  I haven’t.  Aw well.  Here’s to new family pictures and Christmas cards before New Years! 

To make this peppermint mocha I suggest either Torani peppermint syrup or making your own.  I’m pretty sure World Market sells it in stores if you have one near by. 

Peppermint Mocha
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Ingredients
  1. 3-5 tablespoons peppermint syrup
  2. 3-5 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  3. 1 cup hot coffee or 2 shots espresso
  4. 1 cup steamed milk
  5. whipped cream for topping
Instructions
  1. Add the syrups to the bottom of a coffee mug.
  2. Pour the hot coffee or espresso over. Mix together.
  3. Add the steamed milk and mix again.
  4. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes.
  5. Enjoy!
the Grant life http://thegrantlife.com/
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Chestnut Praline Latte

Try this chestnut praline latte!  Its a copycat of the new Starbucks version!

Make the new must have holiday coffee house menu item at home.  In your pajamas.  [Like I did.]

chestnut praline latte recipe

Recently Starbucks came out with a new drink.  Its their first new drink in over 5 years.  [Which makes me sort of sad that I have been drinking the same old drinks for that long.  Naw.. not really.]  I heard somewhere that its the pumpkin spice latte of the Christmas season.  Which is a tall order to fill because, hello, pumpkin spice latte.  I mean its just tradition.  So I was skeptical.  This chestnut praline latte was not be trusted. 

Chestnut praline latte

But of course I waited in line and ordered one.  I wanted to knowww what it tasted it.  Was it full of holiday cheer?  Could it dethrone the beloved pumpkin spice latte?  Will my kids ever let me go to Starbucks without buying them cake pops ever again?  [That last one remains unanswered.]

Try this chestnut praline latte!  Its a copycat of the new Starbucks version!

It was tasty.  It was cheery.  It was in a red holiday cup.  It was like the trifecta of holiday drinks.  But could it be made at home, in the comfort of your lazy day clothes?  You know the ones, the yoga pants that might or might not have a hole on the butt.  And the tank top that you may or may not wear a bra with around the house.  And TOMs.  [Because duh, comfortable.] 

Chestnut Praline latte - Starbucks copycat!

The first thing I had to do was find some chestnuts.  Ryon swore that I wasn’t going to find them.  He made up some story about the trees and it not being peak chestnut season.  I’m still not sure if he was messing with me or not.  But after checking 2 stores, I found some.  [Boom!]  I immediately went home, turned on a Christmas Pandora station and started roasting chestnuts.  [In my oven, not an open fire.  It was like 75 degrees here.] 

Chestnut praline latte with crumbled praline pecans on top!

I then praline’d some pecans while the chestnuts were roasting.  [By the way, my 14 year old self made tons of jokes about nuts during the process.  Just thought that should be noted.]  I made chestnut syrup after they were done roasting.  Syrup.  Out of a nut.  Yea, it wasn’t easy.  And its honestly not high on my “must do again” lists either.  [Just thought that should be noted too.] 

So here is my verdict on the make at home version of the chestnut praline latte – get in your car and go to Starbucks.  Buy their version and enjoy Christmas Pandora in your hole-y yoga pants and no bra tank top afternoon outfit.  It’ll make you feel a lot more cheery.  But in case you want to DIY your own, the recipe is below.  [Ps.. it was good.  WAY good.  I drank two.  But making syrup from a nut and praline-ing pecans is just a lot of work.]  You win this time Starbucks. 

Ps.. or you can buy chestnut syrup.  I found some of Amazon but have yet to try it. 

Chestnut Praline Latte
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For the syrup
  1. 5-6 chestnuts, in the shell
  2. 3/4 cup of sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  4. 1 1/4 cup water
For the praline crumble
  1. 1/2 cup pecans, shelled
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 cup water
  5. 2 shots of espresso, or strong coffee
  6. 8 ounces of steamed milk
  7. whipped cream
Instructions
  1. For chestnut syrup: cut 3/4 way around the nut, not cutting all the way through. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. The shell will start to separate from the meat inside when they are ready. Let them cool and pull off the shell. Coarsely chop them and put them in a food processor. In a small saucepan add the sugar and water. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cooled mixture to the food processor along with the vanilla extract. Puree until smooth-ish. Filter it through a mesh sieve and set aside.
For the praline crumble
  1. In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar and water together. Toss the pecans in the water mixture and coat. Remove from the saucepan and place them in a 350 oven for 10 minutes, or until the liquid hardens. Add the praline pecans and the brown sugar to a cleaned food processor and pulse until coarse. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the coffee: Add 3-5 tablespoons of chestnut syrup to a cup. Add the hot espresso and steamed milk. Stir, add the whipped cream and then the praline crumble topping. Enjoy!
Adapted from mashable
Adapted from mashable
the Grant life http://thegrantlife.com/
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