My realization of this is probably way late, but where is the Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks? In November I stumbled into a store with my boyfriend, bleary-eyed and cold in D.C., and got that momentary jolt of anticipation thinking I could find my beloved Gingerbread drink. And what did I find? Something called . . . the Gingersnap Latte. Really? Gingersnap? With crystallized pieces of ginger? Doesn’t really sound that tasty to me.
But I had to try it, of course — and I’ve had it once more since then. It’s okay. Nothing to write home about — or blog about, since that’s more likely — but decent. It still boasts the frightening nutrition facts I’m used to — 13 grams of fat in a grande (small) with 2% milk; 42 carbohydrates — but does have 11 grams of protein. I can deal with that; I usually don’t drink lattes as meals anymore! Being away from the bookstore has had one positive effect . . . on my weight and my wallet. Though the ginger burns my throat a little.
On the bright gingerbread side, I can still grab my beloved drink at our Seattle’s Best Coffee at Borders . . . and I get a gingerbread man cookie inside the drink. On top of the whipped cream!
If I were feeling adventurous, I could actually make a Gingerbread Latte at home. Lots of recipes are circulating the Internets, but this one looked fairly simple. I don’t have the right the equipment nor the know-how, but for those of you who may be inclined to whip up this seasonal favorite on the weekend and have an espresso machine (lucky!), please see below . . . after the jump!
• gingerbread syrup
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup fresh espresso
• 8 ounces milk, steamed (with a little foam)
• whipped cream
• ground nutmeg
1. Make the gingerbread syrup by combining water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Be sure the pan is not too small or the mixture could easily bubble over.
2. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer syrup, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat when it’s done and slap a lid on it.
3. Make a double shot of espresso (1/2 cup), using an espresso machine. Use the machine to steam 8 ounces of milk, or heat up the milk in themicrowave if your machine does not foam and steam milk.
4. Make your latte by first adding 1/2 cup espresso to a 16-ounce cup. Add 1/4 cup gingerbread syrup, followed by the steamed milk. Stir.
5. Top off the drink with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.