Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gour-Make It Monday Macchaito

Some months ago I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the most encouraging, intelligent, delightful woman at my best friend's baby shower.

Mary Laughead is a happily married, mother of one sweet little boy, Partylite consultant (link goes to HER website), and extremely well rounded wealth of knowledge on all things cooking. She never ceases to amaze me with unexpected simple answers to some of my silly questions. 

Sometime last week I had fallen to the Starbucks giant yet again, and I needed someone to give me the key to having my delicious Caramel Macchiato EVERY DAY without blowing my budget. 

Mary to the rescue: DIY Caramel Macchiato!

Before we go on let me just say that I would advise anyone to purchase one of those Starbucks look-alike reusable cups, because this recipe will allow you to give way to your everyday coffee desires.

I initially found a homemade Starbucks Caramel Macchiato recipe here 

I modified the original recipe to suit my kitchen, and hopefully yours too.

The very first thing I did was gather the ingredients and hardware needed to complete the recipe.

(L-R) Ingredients: Sugar, Water, Vanilla, STRONG Coffee, Caramel Syrup, Milk (we used whole because that’s what we have in the house)

The only two required pieces of equipment for this method is a stick (immersion) blender and a tall 4-cup container. You can use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion. If you don’t have a stick blender and you spend any time in the kitchen, I’d highly recommend one – I use mine nearly everyday.  The tall 4-cup container is necessary for foaming the milk.  I tried whipping the one cup of milk in a 2-cup measuring cup and made a mess…

After gathering the ingredients (yes, I took this picture after I brewed the coffee…), I made half of the vanilla syrup recipe.  Even then, unless you’re an addict and making them everyday or throwing a Macchiato Party, half a recipe will last a very long time. 

1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then add vanilla extract. Remove from heat and cool. Store in a covered container.
While the syrup was cooling in the refrigerator (why you couldn’t use this syrup hot is beyond me – it went in a HOT drink…), the second thing I did was make the coffee.  I don’t have an espresso machine anymore, so I brewed strong coffee.  We brewed 7 ‘cups’ (the line on the side of the coffee pot) of water with 10 tablespoons of coffee.  This would be enough for about 6 macchiatos, so if that’s too much for you, cut it back (we’re not afraid of microwaving leftovers - yes, it’s different, but not in a bad way).  Most coffeemakers don’t want you to make less than 4 ‘cups’ of water, but you could probably try 3 ‘cups’ water and 5 tablespoons coffee.  If you’re not afraid of leftovers either, obey your coffeemaker’s request and make 5 ‘cups’ water, and 8 tablespoons coffee.  I haven’t met a coffeemaker yet that doesn’t evaporate water by the time you get the final product (and to allow for a little spillage), I make a little extra.  This also will allow you to pitch the last drop with grounds in the bottom. 
When we finally got our son to bed, we made the macchiatos – a reward for a full day of potty training.  Measure out the syrup(sugar mixture you just made 4Table spoons), coffee, and caramel syrup(your own desired amount).  Put in a 16 oz coffee cup & stir together. 

Next, I microwaved the milk(8 ounces) for 5 minutes on 40% power level.  I rarely use full power, especially for liquids (except water) because I don’t want to boil over.  When it came out, it was about 180°F.   

Then, I put the stick to it. 

Notice, I held the stick at an angle – this helps make the foam.  When I thought it was foamy enough, I stopped.  It ended up being 160°F.  Add to the coffee cup, and give a slight stir with a spoon.

Think you might like it iced? 
Here are the condensed instructions for both cold and hot macchiatos. 

Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato

  • Time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1

  • Vanilla Syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh espresso
  • 8 ounces milk, steamed with foam
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 4 small ice cubes and (optional) whipped cream

How to make it

  • You can use vanilla syrup from a bottle or from Starbucks for the drink or make your own vanilla syrup following this Top Secret Recipe:
  • HOT Caramel Macchiato
  • Simply combine 2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then add 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Remove from heat and cool. Store in a covered container.
  • To make your coffee drink, add two tablespoon of vanilla syrup to a 16-ounce glass. Add 1/2 cup fresh brewed espresso followed by 8 ounces of steamed milk.
  • Add 3 to 4 tablespoons caramel sauce to the drink. Stir before drinking.
  • NOTE: Iced Caramel Macchiato
  • Same ingredients, plus some small ice cubes and (optional) whipped cream:
  • In a pint glass or iced tea glass (we're assuming 16 oz), add vanilla syrup and fill about 3/5 of the way with cold milk. Add ice almost to the top and pour espresso (2 shots would be typical) over the top. If you've done it right, the espresso will mix in only about halfway down without stirring. If adding whipped cream, add it here. Drizzle the top with caramel and enjoy.
  • Makes one 16-ounce drink (grande size).

Thanks so much to my sweet friend Mary for helping with 

I'll update when I know how much I actually save by making my own, but because i have all of the ingredients but the caramel already in bulk, I'd go so far as to say it will be saving me about $3.79 a day! ;)

Enjoy your Gour-Make It Monday.


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