i admit, i used to have a problem. a coffee problem. i would go to dunkin donuts with my old roommate daily. sometimes more than once in a day. as our only escape from the office, we’d walk across the street, grab an iced coffee, maybe a bagel, and mosey on back to our desks. this became a problem because although dunkin donuts isn’t expensive, it isn’t incredibly cheap. i was spending upwards of $20 a week there. that’s over $75 a month! almost $1000 a year! if you know my current job, you’d know that this type of spending was completely unacceptable.
after a trip to california this summer, i declared i would be going on a spending diet. since then, i can count on a single hand how many times i’ve gone shopping for clothes and for a solid 4-5 months, i never went out to dinner more than once a week. i’ve strayed a bit from my strict confines, but the one thing that i have been completely steadfast on is backing away from dunkin donuts. i am only allowed ONE coffee/bagel a week from dunkin donuts and i choose that treat to come on fridays.
this year, i declared fridays to be TGIDDF for two reasons: 1) thank god it’s dunkin donuts friday and 2) thank god it’s dress down friday. yes, i have a self-declared dress down day at work and i get to wear jeans. so there!
when life gets excessively monotonous, i think the best way to spruce things up is celebrate little made-up holidays and achievements. every week that i make it through, i say YAY! FRIDAY! TIME FOR A TREAT! it really makes me appreciate my medium iced hazelnut, skim milk, two splendas so much more than when i was taking it for granted every. single. day.
well, that was just a really long backstory to tell you that for the first time this year, it’s friday and i didn’t stop at dunkin donuts. but that doesn’t mean no coffee for me. instead, i enjoyed my very own mocha frappe. cut out the coolatas; forget about frappuccinos. i’ve got a healthier, cheaper and all-around better alternative.
i originally saw this recipe on deliciously organic, but as always, made a few tweaks of my own. if you prefer carmel or peppermint or anything, start experimenting and make your own version - the possibilities are endless!
3/4 cup strong, hot coffee
3/4 Tablespoon honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain ice cubes
once you’re done collecting, it’s time for the doing.
brew your coffee and while it’s still hot, mix in the honey until it’s dissolved. pour the coffee into four ice cube slots in a tray and freeze until solid. keep the remaining coffee/honey mixture cooling in the fridge.
two things. one: do you like my primitive way to brew coffee? my coffee maker broke months ago and since i don’t drink as much anymore, i decided to wait to buy a new one until i’m ready for a KEURIG (!) of my own. shockingly, using just the caraffe from the coffee maker and filter and then pouring hot water into the top, it worked 100% just fine.
two: if you like this drink, in the future i’d suggest just filling up more than the four ice cube trays and then you can make one of these frosty, delicious beverages on a moment’s notice!
once they’re frozen, you can get moving on the rest of the steps. the next step is to make the chocolate “sauce.” mine wasn’t very saucy but i think part of the reason was i used a maple agave blend instead of just maple syrup, so it didn’t hold very well. still tasted fine, though!
melt your butter in a small saucepan and once it’s melted, remove it from the heat and let it cool. into the cooled butter, whisk the cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract until it’s well-combined. set aside.
break out the old blender and drop in the coffee cubes, chocolate sauce, skim milk and remaining coffee that you cooled in the fridge (about 1/4 cup) and 4-5 plain ice cubes. blend until the ice cubes aren’t clunking around anymore.
pour into a tall glass and if you’d like, top with whipped cream, dark chocolate shavings, chocolate sauce or just a straw!
click here for a printable version of the recipe!