Almond Latté (V, GF)
This is the time of year where I find myself back in my hometown for about a month: a stretch of time where living out of a suitcase feels ridiculous, but fully unpacking seems unnecessary. So I’ve settled on a happy medium in which every morning I remove everything from the duffle bag and pile it onto my bed. I wear whatever I need to wear, and promptly forget all about it until midnight, when, too sleepy to care, I shove my clothes back into the duffle and move the cat (who has recently claimed my bed as his throne) aside and pass out in whatever free corner I can find. The whole process repeats itself the following morning. I have only been home for two weeks- there’s still time to unpack! I’ll no doubt be saying this until mid-January. Honestly though, who has time to unpack where there is food to be made? More honestly, I have plenty of time, because quite literally, all I’ve been doing since I got here is making cookies. And challah (stay tuned, those of you who have a desire to learn to make or look at many pictures of Jewish honey egg bread).
My favorite part of being home is hands down my proximity to the espresso machine. For years, all we had was one of those shiny stovetop moka pots. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful and made great coffee. But it also required lots of care concerning boiling hot steam and what is known as the “safety release valve”. In my book, this is pretty much a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of baking tray burns and paring knife/finger lacerations, but those are business as usual if you spend the vast majority of your time in a kitchen. And they’re nothing a little Neosporin and band-aid can’t fix. Which brings me to my next point: have you ever had a steam burn? There is no escape. No amount of ice or crying or bourbon will fix that kind of pain. That is why I experienced true coffee-flavored, pain-free bliss when this bad boy arrived at our doorstep a while back, and I’ve used it religiously every chance I get ever since. The following latté is a truly perfect afternoon jolt, even more so when used as a vessel for dunking leftover Christmas cookies. It also makes a great dessert for caffiends like me. Looking for others? Exhibit A. Exhibit B.
1 shot espresso
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. honey, agave syrup, or sugar (optional)
Heat the almond milk over the stove, in the microwave, or in a milk frother. While that’s happening, pull the espresso shot. Add almond extract, and sweetener (if using) into a mug. Pour the coffee into the mug, then top with milk. Enjoy!