Caramel Apple Cider

One of my favorite things about the fall is hot, steamy beverages.  Starbucks happens to have some of my favorites… the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the Salted Caramel Mocha, and the Caramel Apple Cider.  The trouble is that they charge chose to $5 per drink, and I think they changed their Caramel Apple Cider recipe last year.  Whatever they did, I didn’t like it.  HUGE disappointment.  Why not try to make one at home from scratch though?  So I have.

Caramel Apple Cider from The Southern Institute

First of all, when you think of a caramel apple cider what do you think of?  The caramel, right?  Of course, it’s the most important part of the equation.  I didn’t want to use a stale old store bought caramel sauce, so I decided to try to make one from scratch.  Everything I saw online spoke of how easy it was to make homemade caramel sauce.  Well, that may be true if you have a good recipe to follow.  The first recipe I found had beautiful photography and sounded delicious.  Unfortunately it failed.  Twice.  I followed the recipe carefully, but after two failed attempts I decided it must not be me… it must be the recipe.  I did another search and found this recipe from Simply Recipes.  Success on the first try!  And it was gorgeous!

It tastes as beautiful as it looks, believe you me… I’ve had a lot of tastes.  So with a beautiful caramel sauce I was ready to proceed.  I did not make the cider from scratch.  I bought a gallon of Trader Joe’s spiced cider, which is delicious.  Here’s what I did:

  • Warm 6-8 oz of spiced cider in a microwave safe mug for about one minute.
  • Add one HEAPING tablespoon of caramel sauce and stir until dissolved.
  • Top with homemade whipped cream.  This is what puts it over the top.
  • Drizzle with the caramel sauce.
  • ENJOY!

Incase you haven’t ever made homemade whipped cream, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  It’s the easiest thing ever to make, and it tastes sooooooo gooooooood!  All you need is a container of heavy whipping cream and a hand held mixer (and maybe a pinch of sugar too).  Pour about a cup of the cream into a medium bowl and mix, mix, mix.  Start on low then slowly up to medium.  After a while the cream will start to get thicker.  You can turn the mixer to med-high at this point and continue to mix until it thickens up to the consistency of cool whip.  Yum!

Caramel Apple Cider at http://www.thesoutherninstitute.com

Enjoy the cool weather and your caramel apple cider!  For some other fall treats try Pumpkin Raisin Muffins and Sweet Potato Oatmeal. YUM!

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