Mar 14, 2014

Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino

Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino

Thin Mints are the best selling Girl Scout cookie and they make up 25% of all Girl Scout Cookies sales. They have just the right combination of chocolate and mint in a crispy cookie to be addictive. Their flavor is actually pretty unique and that makes Thin Mints very recognizable. I often use Thin Mints in baking recipes and decided to turn them into a refreshing coffee drink this time around – and the result is my Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino. It’s an ice blended coffee drink that is packed with Thin Mint flavor – and actual Thin Mint cookies!

All of the chocolate flavor in the drink actually comes from the cookies. Thin Mints are a little more minty than they are chocolaty, so putting too much chocolate into the drink just turns this into an ordinary, but minty, mocha. The crispy cookies add just the right amout of chocolate flavor, and I added a little extra peppermint extract to boost the mintiness of the cookies. It’s a little sweet and surprisingly refreshing for an indulgent iced coffee drink! Don’t hesitate to splurge and add a dollop of whipped cream on top before serving.

If you want to enjoy this drink and it’s not Girl Scout cookie season, you can easily substitute for the Thin Mint cookies. Keebler makes a cookie called a Grasshopper that is almost identical to the Thin Mint, and you can even use plain chocolate wafer cookies or Oreos without the filling with good results.
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Mar 13, 2014

Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery Series Giveaway!

Dunkin' Donuts Bakery Series Giveaway!

Anytime I’m indulging in some freshly fried donuts for breakfast, I always want a hot cup of coffee to wash them down with. Coffee and donuts is such a natural combination that it inspired Dunkin’ Donuts to launch a line of donut-flavored coffees to tie those two elements even more closely together. These new coffees, as well as some other bakery-themed flavors, are currently being rolled out to stores, and you might not have had a chance to try them yet. In case you haven’t, we’ve teamed up with Smuckers’ to bring you a great giveaway, a Dunkin’ Donuts “Bakery Flavor Dunked In” Kit valued at over $300! The kit includes:

  •    -  Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery Series Coffee (1 each): Chocolate Glazed Donut, Jelly Donut, Old Fashioned Donut, Blueberry Muffin and Caramel Coffee Cake coffee flavors
  •    -  Dunkin’ Donuts coffee mug
  •    -  Hungry Girl’s Turtle Donut Blended Coffee recipe to sample and share.
  •    -  A Mr. Coffee Pot so that you can brew up the included Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
  •    -  $250 Visa Gift Card to purchase anything you need to fully enjoy your coffee, like a few dozen donuts to share with friends and pair with your first freshly brewed pot.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite type of donut to pair with coffee is. A chocolate donut might be the perfect pairing with the Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffee, while you might prefer to pair a classic cruller with black coffee. This contest ends Wednesday, March 19th at Midnight, so get your entries in before then and you could be enjoying coffee and donuts before you know it! One winner will be randomly selected from all the entries at the end of the contest. Don’t forget to leave your e-mail in the contact form (this information will not be made public) because that is how I will contact the winner. Good luck!

Update:  This contest is now closed. Congrats to Kate, the winner of this giveaway! Thanks for playing, everyone!

Mar 11, 2014

Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery Series Old Fasioned, Jelly and Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffees, reviewed

Dunk Donuts Old Fashioned Donut Coffee

Coffee and donuts is a traditional pairing and I definitely enjoy a cup of coffee when I’m eating a donut. The coffee cuts the sweetness and grease of the donut perfectly when I have them side-by-side. Some people would rather dunk their donuts than simply have them alongside coffee, and some of the coffees in Dunkin’ Donuts new Bakery Series are clearly designed with these donut-loving coffee fans in mind. I’ve had lots of flavored coffees and can say that I was completely intrigued when I saw Old Fashioned Donut, Jelly Filled Donut and Chocolate Donut coffee flavors.

The coffees all come preground and are designed to work with a traditional drip coffee maker, though there is no reason why you couldn’t use your ground coffee in an refillable k-cup with your Keurig or put it into a pour over coffee maker if that is what you’re working with at home. I brewed up a few batches and put them to a taste test – although in hindsight, I do wish that I had picked up a couple of actual donuts to pair with them.

I got a few insider tips from a flavor scientist who worked on developing this line of coffees and he told me that they are all developed to be consumed with sugar and milk or cream added to the coffee. He said that the sugar and dairy really bring out and smooth out the flavors in the coffee, although you can drink them black if you really want to. I found his advice to be good, because these coffees all tasted noticeably better with milk and sugar and the donut flavors became more “real” and more compelling.

Dunkin Donuts Bakery Series

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Mar 5, 2014

The Republic of Tea HiCaf Caramel Black Tea, reviewed

HiCaf Caramel Black Tea

A cup of black tea contains roughly half the caffeine as a cup of black coffee. This means that people who aren’t looking for a lot of caffeine can rely on tea as a way to perk themselves up in the morning, but it also means that there are people who drink coffee just for that caffeine rush and might prefer to be drinking tea instead. I’m a fan of both coffee and tea, of course, but this is exactly why The Republic of Tea created a line of new HiCaf Teas so tea-lovers could get the pick-me-up they want without having to reach for a cup of coffee. The boose in caffeine comes from green tea extract, which is added to all of the teas in the lineup.

I recently tried the new HiCaf Caramel Black Tea and it is absolutely delicious. It has a very smooth, full bodied classic black tea flavor and just enough sweetness from the natural caramel flavor to take that slightly dry edge present in some black teas completely out of the picture. It has a hint of burnt sugar to it and it seems sweet enough on its own that I didn’t want to add any sugar to the hot tea. When served over ice, the tea was excellent with a little sugar added to boost those caramel notes and help them stand out more. I’m a fan and I’ll be trying the other teas in the line, as well.

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