Mint Iced Coffee

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Hi all! Wow, what a beautiful spring we’re having! Spring puts me in the mood for refreshing, light types of food, and when I saw this iced coffee on Instagram, I was immediately intrigued. Aside from the chocolate/mint combination, I had never heard of mint in coffee. I was really curious about how it would taste, so I tried the recipe. Oh my goodness. I had this early in the day, and had some plain hot coffee later (because some days you need it) and it tasted so…boring.

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Using fresh mint syrup instead of store bought mint syrup or mint extract is important because fresh mint has an earthy flavor and the vanilla bean makes your coffee taste a bit like ice cream. This is synergy; when the output is more than the sum of it’s parts; that’s what this is…a new flavor all together. The next day I had another one. And the day after that.

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Strong coffee is key to this, because weak coffee can’t stand up to the mint. If you don’t have enough time for cold press, just make some really strong coffee. I use a french press but any super strong coffee is fine. The fresh mint is steeped overnight in a sweet vanilla syrup, and ends up making anything dairy taste like mint I’ve cream. Seriously. Excuse me while I go guzzle some.

Fresh Mint Iced Coffee

Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Cold Brew

1/2 cup freshly ground coffee
2 cups cold water

Mint syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 big bunch of fresh mint leaves (around 3/4 cup)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Formula

Ice
2 1/2-3 tbsp fresh mint syrup
8 ounces cold brew coffee
3 tbsp milk or cream

Directions:

To make cold brew, combine the coffee grounds and room temperature water in a glass jar or container. Let sit at room temperature 8 hours to overnight.

Using a fine mesh strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth, strain grounds from coffee. Store coffee in refrigerator.

Combine water, mint leaves and vanilla bean pod plus seeds (if using) in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil; let boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into glass container and refrigerate overnight. Strain out mint leaves and vanilla bean pod or leave in to keep flavoring. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

To make iced coffee, fill a tall glass 1/4-1/3 full of ice. Pour in coffee, syrup and cream; stir.

Yield: 2 iced coffees plus 1 1/2 cups of syrup.

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Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

20130302-190442.jpg So you guys, I dreamt about these brownies. I saw them at How Sweet It Is way back at Thanksgiving, and didn’t look at them since, until about a week ago out of the blue, I dreamt about making these exact same brownies. They must have left a big impression!! So after dreaming about them of course I had to make them. BUT, although they were really tasty, they looked like this:

20130302-191343.jpg Due to my errors, the brownies stuck to the parchment paper, they crumbled, I didn’t make the frosting thick enough so that they were completely covered, and the ganache did not help with appearances. I was NOT satisfied. So I tried again, buttering the pan, adding xanthan gum to the brownies so that they would stick together, adding cream instead of milk (oops) to the frosting, and changing the ganache into a thinner icing so as to get those beautiful chocolate streams down the sides. It worked!

20130302-192121.jpg These are incredible. Chewy brownie with chocolate chips, icing like the filling of a peppermint pattie, with shiny chocolate icing slathered on top. Oh yum. I love the icing, as it’s thick and very peppermint-y. Cool peppermint paired with dark chocolate FTW!! Note: you can make these with wheat flour by replacing the flour mix with all-purpose flour and leaving out the xanthan gum.

Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp evaporated milk or cream
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp salt
3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3.5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp corn syrup
1 pinch salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9×9″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisk until combined. Whisk eggs in one at a time, stirring until a smooth. Whisk flour mix, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes until set. Remove and let cool.

While brownies are cooling, combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk (or cream), vegetable oil, and vanilla and peppermint extracts in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour over brownies and spread in an even layer (press with fingers into corners). Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes.

Combine butter, chocolate and corn syrup in small saucepan over low heat until melted. Cut brownies into 16 pieces. Spread icing over top of brownies.

Yield: 16 brownies

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Journals

Hi all! How is your Christmas season going? I am so excited to share some wonderful Christmas recipes with you soon!! So today I will be showing you a wonderful christmas gift idea…you’ll thank me later. If you know someone who loves to write, but really has a good taste in style, I would recommend this journal shop on etsy wholeheartedly! A handmade journal would be a superb and unique Christmas gift as is, but I would write a little something-something to make it even more special:) Just look at this excellent craftsmanship!

20121206-233343.jpg I really do fancy this burgundy piece:

20121206-233443.jpg And this green really is an excellent, earthy color:

20121206-233553.jpg Now, this particular vender happens to be my brother, who is extremely talented. I can vouch that these really are top quality! You can find these and more here. Now go buy a journal and make some Christmas cookies!!

Fashion Bug

Hi all! I just wanted to tell you all of this wonderful blog I know of, maybe you’ve heard of it; eccentric owl. Now this wonderful blog not only is filled with wonderful fashion tips, cute outfits, and makeup tutorials, but it is run by my own super creative-and-talented cousin Kristi! I am SO proud of her!
Now go and check out her awesome site, and get ready to look fabulous!
Eccentricowl.com

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