Sunday, September 29, 2013

Celebrating National Coffee Day...Featuring Peppermint Bark Chiller & Pumpkin Pie Latte!

Today is National Coffee Day...a day to celebrate the elixer that gets many an early morning moving in the right direction! I have to admit that until fairly recently, I was someone who very rarely drank coffee. I never even owned a coffee maker...until I received a Keurig Vue last holiday season to try out in my kitchen. I was immediately hooked and now enjoy a cup coffee or tea a few mornings a week. The Vue also makes great chai latte and hot chocolate, so we use this great little machine quite regularly. I was excited when Keurig recently told me about their new line of brew-over-ice Vue cups featuring several varieties of coffee and tea. Simply fill a tall glass to the brim with crushed ice, pop in a Vue cup and brew. Keurig sent me a variety of brew-over-ice Vue cups to try out, so I thought National Coffee Day would be the perfect opportunity to show you how we've been using these cups to create delicious iced coffee drinks.

My favorite flavor of iced coffee Vue cups is the Green Mountain Coffee French Vanilla. It's a light roast coffee with a hint of vanilla flavor. That makes it a great base for creating fun iced coffee drinks that are refreshing and delicious...and a fraction of the cost of going to a coffee shop. I can make one of my iced coffee creations in about 2 minutes. Talk about instant gratification! I also received a sampling of flavored syrups and sauces from DaVinci Gourmet, as well as a selection of seasonal coffee creamers from Bailey's. I've been having a blast creating fun and tasty seasonal drink creations...both iced and hot. I want to share two of my favorites with you today, my Peppermint Bark Chiller and Pumpkin Pie Latte. Both bring to mind the upcoming holiday season. It's still quite warm here in Central Texas, so we're enjoying iced beverages in the afternoon and evening.

My Peppermint Bark Chiller features Green Mountain Coffee French Vanilla Iced Coffee, Bailey's White Chocolate Peppermint Bark, DaVinci Sugar-Free White Chocolate Syrup and a cupful of peppermint extract to maximize the peppermint punch. I absolutely love drinking this beverage because it reminds me of this: although it's still close to 90 in the afternoons around here, Christmas is less than three months away. All it takes is one sip of this drink, and I'm humming Christmas carols! Because I use my Keurig Vue to make individual drinks, each person can have a customized drink. I prefer a sweeter drink with a lower coffee to creamer ratio, so that's no problem. With my Vue, I can choose to add 4, 6 or 8 ounces of coffee to each customized drink!
Peppermint Bark Chiller:
  • One large glass packed to the top with crushed ice
  • 4 ounces brewed Keurig Vue brew-over-ice Green Mountain Coffee
  • 1/3 cup Bailey's White Chocolate Peppermint Bark creamer
  • 2 tbs. DaVinci Sugar-Free White Chocolate syrup
  • 1 capful peppermint extract
  • DaVinci White Chocolate Sauce for drizzling on top
Brew the Vue pack over the glass of crushed ice. Add the creamer and syrup and stir to combine. Drizzle some of the white chocolate sauce over the top, letting it drip downt he sides for a pretty effect. Add a straw and serve. That's it! If you prefer a more pronounced coffee flavor, simply up the amount of coffee to 6 or 8 ounces and reduce the creamer to 1/4 cup. 

Since today is a day for celebrating the wonderfulness of coffee, I also want to share a fabulous hot coffee drink with you! The calendar is about to flip to October this coming week, so I'm doing whatever I can to get myself in the Fall mood...despite Mother Nature keeping it nice and toasty here in Texas! One sure-fire way to get in the Fall mood is to whip up a morning mug of my creamy Pumpkin Pie Latte. This latte features French Vanilla coffee, and it tastes just like pumpkin pie! This latte is flavored with Bailey's Pumpkin Spice creamer, DaVinci Caramel Sauce and cinnamon. To make it even more fun, I top each mug with a cinnamon graham artisan marshmallow and an extra drizzle of more caramel sauce. Serving the latte in a cool Paul McCartney coffee mug is totally optional...but I think it makes it even more special! A slice of moist pumpkin bread on the side doesn't hurt either. Not one bit!
Pumpkin Pie Latte:
  • 6 ounces Keurig Vue Green Mountain French Vanilla Coffee
  • 1 ounce DaVinci Caramel sauce
  • 1/3 cup Bailey's Pumpkin Spice creamer
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Jumbo marshmallow and additional caramel sauce for topping (sub in whipped cream if you don't have marshmallows on hand)
Brew the coffee, then add the caramel sauce and creamer. Stir well to completely dissolve the caramel sauce. Top the latte with the marshmallow, cinnamon and more of the caramel sauce. NOTE: To keep the pumpkin pie theme going, I used a Cinnamon Graham artisan marshmallow from 240sweet. You'll be hearing more about these fabulous marshmallows in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned! 

There you have it...a National Coffee Day celebration featuring both hot and cold coffee drinks. No matter what the weather is in your part of the country, you've got a fabulous coffee drink that you can whip up to celebrate! Both take minutes to whip up and are decadent and delicious. The main thing is to have fun.

Disclosure: I was provided Keurig brew-over-ice cups, Bailey's coffee creamer and DeVinci syrups and sauces to facilitate the post. I received no other compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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