Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarGrowing up in Texas, I was used to 100+ degree heat and blazing sun, but Texas has nothing on New York. The temperature rarely creeps into triple digits here in NYC, but that doesn’t mean we escape the heat. Oh, no. There is nothing quite as brutal as 85+ degree heat in a city made entirely of concrete and surrounded by water. I used to think New Yorkers were just wusses when it came to heat, but I am here to say that I was deeply wrong. So, so wrong. My sincere apologies to every sweaty, miserable New Yorker that I have ever called a weakling.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarWhen it’s this warm, baking is far less appealing than it might normally be. Today, I’m staying away from the oven and cooling off with an Iced Matcha Latte. Creamy, sweet and ice cold, it’s a great way to beat the heat!

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarMy single-serve Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar is completely vegan, refined sugar-free, and requires just six ingredients, two of which are ice and water.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarIced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarI start by combining 2 1/2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder (I use this one), 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla in the bottom of a pint mason jar. Stir that all together until all the lumps of matcha have disappeared and you have a paste.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarNext, stir in a few tablespoons of water.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarIced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarIced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarPour almond milk (or any milk you like) up to the 1 cup mark. Add an ice cube or two, seal the jar, and shake it up!

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarOpen the jar, pour it into a glass with some more ice cubes, and enjoy with a cute straw or two! Life’s just more fun when you have cute straws.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarMy Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar is just as cold, creamy, and sweet as any you’ll find in a coffee shop, and it’s a fraction of the price! Matcha contains antioxidants and caffeine, so these lattes make for a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up! Treat yourself to one this weekend 🍵💚Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar
makes 1 latte 

2-2 1/2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder*
2 teaspoons maple syrup (agave and honey work, too)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
4 tablespoons water
~2/3 cup almond milk (or other dairy or plant-based milk)
ice cubes

In a pint mason jar, combine matcha powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir together with a fork until there are no lumps. Add water, almond milk, and 2 ice cubes. Screw on lid. Shake for 1 minute, until combined. Strain out the ice cubes while pouring your latte over fresh ice. Enjoy!

Note:

Matcha comes in different grades and colors. For a brighter color, use ceremonial grade matcha. Food grade matcha (the variety I used in my Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies) will work, but the color will be subtler.

Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot Chocolate MixHi! How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great–I got lots of quality time with my little sister and parents, had dinner with a reader (hi Robyn!), and ate so much chocolate that I think I might soon abandon my vanilla person ways.

But now Thanksgiving has passed and November is nearly over. I got home Sunday night and immediately broke out my Christmas tree and started decorating. It’s still not finished and I have no idea where I’m going to put my Peanuts Nativity scene, but I’m definitely getting into the holiday spirit ❤️💚🎄

Hot Chocolate MixDuring the weeks leading up to Christmas last year, I did Twelve Days of Cookies. While I love holiday cookies and had a blast making all of those recipes, I felt I had limited myself. I mean, why only make cookies when there are cakes and food gifts and seasonal beverages to be had?! There will definitely be some new holiday cookie recipes over the next few weeks, but I’m expanding a bit this year. Let’s call it Twelve Days of Holiday Treats, and let’s kick it off with Hot Chocolate.

Hot Chocolate MixEveryone loves Hot Chocolate. It’s a classic. Warm, sweet, creamy, comforting, and (most importantly) chocolaty, it’s a must-have this time of year. We’ve all had great cups of hot chocolate while out and about. The versions we make at home, however, are often packaged and filled with stabilizers. And they certainly don’t taste like chocolate. At least, they don’t taste like any chocolate I’ve ever had.

My Hot Chocolate knocks the pants off anything you can get in a packet. It starts with cocoa powder. Use any cocoa you like (I am fond of the deeper, richer flavor of Dutch process). Sift the cocoa into a large mixing bowl. I know sifting is a tedious process, but this will keep the Hot Chocolate Mix from being lumpy when stirred into warm milk. Lumpy hot chocolate is gross. So sift that cocoa powder and a couple of cups of confectioner’s sugar, too. You could certainly use granulated sugar, but the powdered variety dissolves more easily into warm milk and the cornstarch it contains helps to thicken the Hot Chocolate.

Hot Chocolate MixHot Chocolate MixNext, grate half a chocolate bar into the mix. I prefer milk chocolate, but use dark if that’s what you prefer (it’ll keep it vegan!). This will make the Hot Chocolate extra chocolaty and super smooth and creamy. Lastly, whisk in a pinch of salt. You may add some vanilla powder if you happen to have some lying around, but if you don’t, your Hot Chocolate Mix won’t suffer in the slightest. Whisk all the ingredients together and spoon the mix into an airtight container.

And then, make yourself some hot chocolate. Warm some milk on the stove or in the microwave, and stir in a few tablespoons of your mix. Drink it plain, or top it with whipped cream or marshmallows or chocolate curls–or all three, if you’re feeling feisty. You’ll love the smooth, rich chocolate flavor, and that you know exactly what ingredients are in your mug.

Hot Chocolate MixHot Chocolate MixWhile it’s fun to have a treat all to yourself, it’s always more fun to share. This hot chocolate recipe is easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled so you can share with your family. And, of course, you can always tie a cute ribbon around a jar of the mix and give it out as a gift.Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot Chocolate Mix
makes about 4 cups

1 cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1.5 ounces chocolate (milk or dark), grated
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Sift cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in grated chocolate, optional vanilla powder, and salt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

To make Hot Chocolate:
3-4 tablespoons Hot Chocolate Mix
1 cup milk of choice, warm
whipped cream, if desired
mini marshmallows, if desired
chocolate curls, if desired

Whisk mix into milk until no lumps remain. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, or chocolate curls, if desired. Serve immediately.

Pink Lemonade

 I think the world would be a much happier place if we all stopped for a lemonade break. I mean, think about it.

It’s ten thousand degrees outside. School is starting back up again soon. The holidays are not all that far away.

Yes, I’m thinking about the holidays nearly four months out. Aren’t you?! 😜 

 So, how about instead of thinking about all the stuff we have to do, we pause for a glass of cold lemonade and forget everything for five minutes? Real lemonade, not the powdered stuff that you’ve had in your pantry for two years. Definitely not that. Instead, let’s have perfectly sweet-tart homemade lemonade. And let’s make it pink because it’s just more fun that way.

    Homemade Pink Lemonade takes a little more effort than stirring powder into water, but it is also a million times more delicious. You won’t find any food coloring in the list of ingredients either. Nope. The pink color comes from fresh raspberries!

The recipe starts with making a lemony raspberry syrup. Throw some fresh raspberries, a couple of tablespoons of lemon zest, sugar, and water into a small saucepan, and cook it just until the berries start to fall apart. Let it cool for 30 minutes while you juice a bunch of lemons. Then strain the syrup into a pitcher and stir in the lemon juice and some cold water. Serve it over ice with a few slices of lemon and cute straws, and then relax for five whole minutes. Trust me, your to-do list can wait that long.

 Pink Lemonade
makes about 2 quarts

Syrup:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
3/4 cup water

For Assembly:
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (about 10 large lemons)
3 1/2-4 cups cold water
ice

For Garnish (optional):
1 large lemon, thinly sliced

Make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, raspberries, lemon zest, and water. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries are starting to fall apart. Let cool 30 minutes before pushing through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds and pith.
Make the lemonade. In a large pitcher, combine syrup, lemon juice, and 3 1/2 cups cold water. Stir. Taste, and add 1/2 cup more cold water if it’s too tart.

Serve pink lemonade over ice. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee

 Every night, before I go to bed, I make coffee. No, not to enjoy right then–it’s for the next morning.

I don’t have any sort of fancy pot that has a timer, and woodland creatures don’t come all the way to Brooklyn to click any buttons. No, all I need is a mason jar, some cheesecloth, and a functional refrigerator to have my coffee ready to go the minute I wake up! 

Have you ever had cold brew coffee? I love it. The rich flavor and lack of acidity are absolutely divine on any summer day. A few years ago, I got really into making my own cold brew, but I hated pushing it through cheesecloth and a fine-mesh sieve to remove the grounds (and still finding some in my glass anyway). And all the methods I had seen at the time involved making enough for an army. I am one woman with eight pounds of butter and four dozen eggs in my fridge at all times–I don’t need two gallons of coffee in there too.

For the last several years, I have resorted to purchasing iced coffee twice a day (which adds up quickly) or making a warm pot of coffee and then letting it come to room temperature before pouring it over ice. The coffee itself was fine, but I longed for the deeper flavor of cold brew…sans annoying straining step and insane quantity. 

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Julie van Rosendaal, wrote a Facebook post about making cold brew in a mason jar…and all my wildest iced coffee dreams came true. I tried her method that night, and when I went to pour my coffee the next morning, I fell in love. 

The coffee is rich and smooth, absolutely perfect with a little cashew milk (my latest obsession). Her method makes just enough for one morning, so there isn’t any week-old coffee taking up space in the fridge, and the coffee is strained directly from jar-to-glass through a few layers of cheesecloth, so you won’t find any grounds in your glass.

The method is so easy that I’ve made cold brew everyday since! Here’s how I make Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee:  

 I put freshly-ground coffee and water into a quart mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake it up to get everything distributed. I put it in the fridge, and then go straight to bed. 

The grounds steep in the water overnight, and I wake up to a ready-made jar of coffee. 

  All I have to do is exchange the lid for cheesecloth, and pour it into my favorite glass. I used a funnel here since the mouth of my glass is small enough that coffee might go everywhere but where I want it to! 

I add a splash of cashew milk, stir it up, and enjoy the start of the day.

So, take a little time tonight to make some coffee. You can thank me tomorrow. 

 Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee
from Julie van Rosendaal
makes 3 cups

2/3 cup ground coffee
3 cups water

Special Equipment:
1 quart mason jar with lid and screw band
cheesecloth (I use one 8×5-inch piece folded in half)

For Serving:
milk of choice
cream
water

Pour ground coffee into the bottom of a quart mason jar. Fill with three cups of water. Put on the lid and screw band and shake to distribute coffee grounds. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

Remove lid and screw band. Coffee will have risen to the top of the jar and look muddy. Stir with a table knife or long spoon. Place four layers of cheesecloth over the top of the jar, making sure that there are no open gaps at the edges. Screw on screw band.

Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour coffee through the cheesecloth into the glass until it is 2/3 full. Fill the glass the rest of the way with milk or cream, or water for black cold brew. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.