When you have to stay up all night to deliver goodies around the globe, you need a sufficient amount of caffeine to stay legit. After all, you don’t want to run that sleigh off the road, do you? Or deliver an arsenal of presents to a small child who was naughty, and a trove of coal to another who was nice? No way! You want to stay alert and on point.
This is where a magical elixir that combines the energy-enhancing properties of both caffeine and sugar comes in. Yes, you could stick with a classic espresso shot or thermos of freshly brewed drip coffee, but why not put a little cheer in your cheer? With an infusion of spice in the form of Monin’s Chai Tea Concentrate and Gingerbread syrups, balanced by a little cream, this coffee recipe takes a simple pot of java and elevates it to something altogether more festive.
And even if you’re not traveling around the world delivering goodies near and far, you may still find this brew will properly motivate you through a long night of seemingly endless dollhouse construction and bicycle wrapping. Watch Brandi brew up a batch!
There are a few different theories on why fruitcakes in the US have become a point of humor and derision. Some equate their density to a doorstop, others find their sometimes-odd assortment of dried fruits to be cloyingly sweet. But not all fruitcake recipes should be given such short shrift! Brandi’s coffee fruitcake, for example, infuses a fairly standard cake batter with delicious java and simple dried currents. The key is to bake it low and slow, producing a dense and delectable dessert that would only be made more delicious by an accompaniment of even more coffee … of course.
Watch as she crafts this cake at the direction of a heckling camerawoman!
One of our favorite desserts during the holiday season is created by slowly poaching pears in red wine and a mix of mulling spices like cinnamon and clove. When we were learning how to use Breville’s Smart Scoop ice cream maker, we found a recipe that sounded quite delicious in their user manual — a vanilla and pear sorbet — so we decided to experiment with it! Instead of using simple syrup and vanilla extract, we used Monin’s Pure Cane Sugar, Vanilla and Cinnamon syrups to see if we could create a frozen treat that shared some of the delectable properties of our poached pear recipe.
The resulting Spiced Pear Sorbet was something that was altogether more refined and elegant! We think it would be exceptional when paired with an aged port. And while the recipe calls for canned pears, you could easily use fresh ones if you have access to them, you’ll just need to tweak the sweetener and possibly add a little liquid to make up for not having the canned pear juice.
Watch as Brandi preps it up and then lets the Smart Scoop do the heavy lifting!
If there’s any way you’re going to make it through the trytophan-infused fare of the day, it’s via the magical meditative combo of coffee and drawing cartoon turkeys. So while you’re expressing yourself artistically, how about jazzing up your coffee with some seasonally-inspired syrup and sauce?
Today’s recipe features our favorite body lotion (er, Monin Caramel sauce) and Maple Spice syrup, which join forces to accent the espresso with sweet and creamy notes. Watch as Brandi crafts it on her new favorite easy-to-use superautomatic espresso machine, the Saeco Minuto.
In your serving cup, combine the sauce and syrup together, then add the espresso and stir well until thoroughly blended. Pour the steamed milk to taste — we used about 6 ounces, but you could use more or less depending on how sweet you like your coffee drinks.
We would all love to be more organized, prepared, planned during the holiday season, but sometimes the festivities get the better of us and all of our good intentions go out the window. One of our favorite seasonal drinks to enjoy is mulled wine — the warmth of the rich red wine paired with the delicious mulling spices of clove, cinnamon and allspice is a difficult libation to beat. But it does take some planning: Most spiced wine recipes recommend warming your wine and spices on low heat for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to meld.
There are some things in life that just shouldn’t be easy — becoming a doctor, developing muscle tone, writing the Great American Novel — these are all processes that have a defined pace which likely contributes to their very worth. You must walk before you run, try to notice the foliage along the way and no doubt be better for having followed a more disciplined approach to the endeavor. In that vein, we submit another activity that may not be the best when rendered ‘easy': Tiramisu. Yes, it still tastes great and everyone you know will be clamoring for more, but is it really a good idea that you’re able to whip up such a devilishly delicious dessert so quickly and easily?
As Brandi demonstrates in this video, except for the whipping of the cream, this tiramisu recipe is probably too simple to keep anyone very honest and on track with dietary balance. Gail even joins her in the end to sample this delectable treat … and pretty much everything used to make it. If you’re looking for a super simple, easy and crowd-pleasing dessert for this holiday season (or any other time of the year, really,) then this tiramisu is the choice for you.
With just a couple more recipes to go, this month’s Jura GIGA 5 drink experimentation features a classic: The Latte Macchiato. This drink is famous for its gorgeous layered effect, with steamed milk on the bottom, espresso in the middle and silky foam on top. Folks are always asking us tips and tricks on how to make one at home, and now we can simply recommend that you pick up a GIGA 5!
As usual, Jura has a unique take on it, making it ‘gourmet’ by incorporating evaporated milk and infusing it with Irish Cream syrup. The result is a richer, sweeter concoction than your standard latte macchiato, but it’s still just as much of a show pony!
Watch Brandi guide us through this delicious recipe.
Now, just because the weather has changed, the leaves are turning color and you might be more motivated to sip hot apple cider next to a roaring stove than indulge in a deliciously juicy frozen dessert, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t. In fact, why not treat yourself to this luscious Creamsicle sherbet today!
Utilizing the Breville’s Smart Scoop and Juice Fountain, Brandi crafted some of the tastiest sherbet we’ve ever had. Watch as she juices some oranges, makes a yummy simple syrup and then whips up a batch of sherbet in this fun recipe video.
Recipe: Creamsicle Sherbet
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (divided)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine 1/2 cup of orange juice and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add remaining orange juice to mixture and place in refrigerator to chill.
Once chilled, combine the orange juice mixture, vanilla yogurt, heavy cream and orange zest; pour into the ice cream bowl.
Set ice dream maker to 50 minutes on the manual setting and churn (this is specific to the Smart Scoop; if you’re using a different ice cream maker, check your manufacturer manual for sherbet recommendations).
Once mixture is frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container; you can freeze it for up to 1 week.
As the seasons change each year from splendid summer to austere autumn, so arrives the legendary Pumpkin Spice Latte. This year, Sam had had more than enough and attempted to launch a full-scale boycott against … with only very minimal success (sorry, Sam). But in deference to her cause, Brandi decided to take a little bit of a mad scientist approach to this favorite seasonal drink by incorporating both caramel (AKA Kat’s body lotion) and candied orange into it!
Watch as she uses the Saeco Exprelia Evo to produce this delicious twist on the Pumpkin Spice latte. Yes, we were surprised by how truly delicious it was! We highly recommend that you craft this gem yourself and surprise those around you with your unique re-imagining of a rather cliche beverage.
Brandi’s at it again with her favorite little coffee robot, the Jura GIGA 5!
This sophisticated espresso machine incorporates a ton of fancy features, including dual bean hoppers, one-touch cappuccino and an extensive drink menu that covers all the traditional drinks (like latte macchiatos and cappuccinos) as well as offering up a selection of rather unique recipes. They’re fun and super easy to make, as the GIGA 5 will outline the ingredients and then guide you through creation — at the touch of a few different buttons!
In this video, Brandi takes on the rather tasty Marochino: