If you love Starbucks Peppermint Mochas, but hate the price, check out this delicious copycat recipe!
We’re super excited about our new site design (you can read more about it in our introductory post) and our friends at KitchenAid are helping us celebrate with an amazing giveaway! Actually, it’s beyond amazing, their spectacular KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Espresso Maker in Candy Apple Red – and it could be yours. The giveaway guidelines are explained below, but we’d love to give you a little peek into how this beautiful machine operates. Scott, with our son Nick, put together a short video, featuring the espresso maker and my favorite seasonal coffee drink, peppermint mocha.
The only place I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying a peppermint mocha is at Starbucks, but at more than $4 a pop (cha-ching!), I have to restrain myself, as our budget just doesn’t allow frequent coffee indulgences. Until now, that is.
Earlier this season, while still anticipating the first beloved chocolate and peppermint coffee drink, I got an idea. Why not figure out how to make these delicious drinks at home? Although I have an espresso maker that makes a wonderful peppermint mocha, my challenge was to develop a recipe that didn’t require fancy, expensive equipment.
I started out with Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha description:
A holiday classic made with our signature espresso, steamed milk, sweet mocha sauce and peppermint-flavored syrup. It’s all topped off with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.
That was a great start! They use two different sauces; a sweet mocha sauce and a peppermint flavored syrup. I did a bit of googling, tried a few different recipes and came up with my own versions. You’ll find the recipes below. The mocha sauce is wonderful drizzled on ice cream and makes wonderful hot chocolate when combined with milk and heated. Add a splash of the peppermint syrup and you’ve got a delicious Peppermint hot cocoa, yum!
Is steamed milk simply hot milk?
Now for the steamed milk. Is steamed milk simply hot milk? No, not really. Steaming milk with an espresso machine does make it hot, but it also creates foam (microfoam) or tiny bubbles. Can this be done without an espresso machine? Yup! There are actually a few ways to steam milk without fancy equipment. One of the easiest ways is to purchase an inexpensive handheld “frother”. It’s battery operated and all you do is place in warm milk and give it whirrrr.
There are also fairly inexpensive frothers that both heat and froth the milk. This Kuissential Deluxe frother is rated really well on Amazon. But guess what? You can create steamed milk in a clean empty glass jar! Yup, that’s all you need. Just fill the jar halfway full and shake, shake, shake until the foam has double in volume (30-60 seconds). Then remove the lid and warm the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave. The heat will actually stabilize the foam! Cool, huh?
Espresso without a fancy machine
Espresso is hard to duplicate. It’s a fairly precise science, although there are some amazingly simple espresso machines that do all the work for you. We love the beautiful KitchenAid Proline Espresso Maker you see in the pictures; but on busy days (that would be most days) we use our KitchenAid Nespresso Maker. Just slip in the pod, push the button and delicious espresso appears right before your eyes! It comes with it’s own Aeroccino milk frother so it’s super easy to make all the fancy coffee drinks at home. If you have a coffee lover on your Christmas list, this would make a lovely gift!
Don’t want to invest that much? How about authentic, delicious espresso at home everyday for less than $25? This stove top espresso maker works great and produces velvety espresso in less than 5 minutes.
No espresso maker and you don’t want to invest in one? You’re okay on this front too. You can still enjoy peppermint mochas. It won’t be exactly the same, but it will still be delicious. Just brew coffee in a regular pot using fine grounds and twice as much coffee as normal. Brew the coffee and make your peppermint mochas immediately after brewing according to the directions below.
So there you have it! The syrups are super simple to make and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. You’ll find lots of other ways to use them, so they probably won’t last that long. They’d make a fun gift for the coffee lover on your list. Just find some fun, pretty bottles and fill them up!
And the GIVEAWAY? Here’s how to enter to win the beautiful KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Espresso Maker in Candy Apple Red. You can actually enter up to six times. One way is by just leaving a comment, sharing with us what your favorite thing about this time of year is. The next four involve following The Café on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram and KitchenAid on Instagram. Lastly, you can subscribe to The Café email list. Go through the Rafflecopter entry window below.
P.S. By the way, Nick who’s our coffee aficionado (aka coffee snob) says this Peppermint Mocha is better than Starbucks!
- 2 tablespoons Mocha Sauce see recipe
- 1 tablespoon Peppermint Syrup see recipe
- 3 ounces espresso or strong coffee see blog post for different ways to make espresso
- 8 ounces steamed milk see blog post for ways to create steamed milk
- whipped cream
- crushed peppermint chocolate curls mini chocolate chips or a dusting of cocoa powder
- Combine Mocha Sauce and Peppermint Syrup in a 12-ounce cup or mug
- Add espresso
- Steam milk and add to cup.
- Garnish with whipped cream
- Sprinkle with crushed peppermint, chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips or a dusting of cocoa powder
- Serve and enjoy!
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup coffee or water
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a medium size sauce pan, whisk together the sugar and the cocoa powder.
- Slowly add the coffee (or water), whisking continually until all liquid has been added and mixture is smooth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Watch pot very carefully, as you will have a huge mess if you walk away and mixture boils over. (Don’t ask me how I know this!) Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Cool completely then transfer to an airtight jar or bottle. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using in coffee drinks.
- Combine water and sugar in a medium size pot and stir well. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Stir to make sure all sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add peppermint extract. Allow to cool, then store in refrigerator in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using in coffee drinks.