Did you really think I’d feature a couple of days worth of Copycat recipes and NOT focus on Coffee Drinks? P-shaw! I am always looking for ways to make my favorite drinks at home to save a few bucks – even though there is something glorious about standing in line (even at the end of the line) in a warm, cozy shop that breathes coffee into every pore of my being…
I do have to put a plug in here – and this is a freebie cuz I’m in NO WAY affiliated with them – for the newest creamer concoctions available at the grocery store. While they may be loaded with sugar, the Coffee House Breve Creme line from International Delight is REALLY wonderful to add to your favorite home brew. You could easily combine a sugar-free blend of syrups with halfand half to get the same effect, but either way, you end up with a very rich cup of coffee. Going the sugar free, half and half route offers NO carbs, which is why it was a favorite of mine during my atkins days…
Moving along, the whole espresso based drink phenomenon has drawn both criticism and a rabid fan base to which only few can rival – say football fans??? While espresso itself may have been a favorite across Europe for many years, it is only in the past twenty years or so that espresso and espresso-based drinks have infiltrated the U.S. Espresso may be served in a variety of ways, and while I have enjoyed a cup of the strong stuff, I especially enjoy a few shots of espresso combined with milk or cream, flavored syrups and spices, and topped with fluffy whipped cream.
I mean really, if you’re gonna go all out, you might as well top it off with the real stuff… Right?
Thankfully, because of the number of calories one ginormous latte may hold combined with the cost of said elixer from a primo coffee shop, coffee shops got smart and began offering reduced calorie and sugar free options, which then hit the general market allowing those of us who may need to watch our pennies and our waistlines to still enjoy the delights of this ambrosia at home.
If you aren’t familiar with espresso-based drinks – here are a few quick terms to help you understand the difference:
- Latte – a blend of steamed milk with espresso. The size of the mug/glass can determine the number of espresso shots used.
- Breve – a blend of espresso with half and half or cream. Using half and half eliminates carbohydrates.
- Macchiato – (see below)
- Cappuccino – approximately half espresso, half milk, topped with an equal amount of foam.
- Americano – espresso diluted with water, leaving a still-strong cup of coffee
- Cafe au Lait – should only be enjoyed at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans alongside a steaming basket of beignets. (just kidding – you can enjoy it anywhere, because it is a blend of 1/2 chickory coffee and 1/2 milk served steaming hot.)
So here are a few Copycat recipe links for some favorite coffeehouse drinks that I could find to get you started…
Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ( a macchiato is, well, apparently it is a matter of contention. Just read this...)
Starbucks Peppermint Mocha (this was my favorite holiday special at Starbucks until last season…)
Starbucks Caramel Vanilla Latte (made with skim milk, half caf espresso and sugar free syrups – THIS is my favorite espresso drink enjoyed during my pregnancy!)
Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte (this is NOT just a caramel vanilla latte!) I could not find a copycat recipe for this beverage. BUMMER! It was my ALL-TIME-HOLIDAY-FAVORITE at Starbucks during the holidays. It includes caramel and creme brulee syrups, along with caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream, more caramel sauce and a crunchy sugar sprinkled that makes it taste like REAL creme bruelee. sigh… using sugar free base syrups can reduce the sugar, but I can tell you that NOT using caramel sauce in this will diminish the flavor greatly! I now feel challenged to try my hand at creating a copycat version of this very ultimate coffee drink.
All the copycat recipes I found first were from starbucks. I do not discriminate against coffee shops. Not in any way.
And while I’m at it, I might as well include some of the best pastries offered at coffee shops, too, to go along with your espresso based drink!
Starbucks petite vanilla scones (delectable…)
Panera Cranberry Walnut Bagels (mmmmm – yummy toasted and slathered with butter)
Starbucks Lowfat Blueberry Muffin
Okay, so those should get you started. Do you have your own version of your favorite coffee drinks or coffee pastries??? Feel free to share them in the comments or link to them to share with everyone!