The Best Part of Waking Up: 5 Festive Winter Coffee Recipes

For parents everywhere the holiday season is an absolute marathon. So how are you going to make it through the holidays when you're averaging 4 hours of sleep per night? Why, coffee of course. And since you're going to be drinking a gallon of the stuff, why not make it special? Below, we've rounded up 5 ways to make holiday coffee festive. From egg nog to boozy marshmallows to peppermint lattes, we've got just what you'll need to put a little pep in your holiday step!

Peppermint Latte
Peppermint Latte

1. Peppermint Latte
Grown-ups deserve a little holiday cheer too, and this peppermint latte is just the thing to get you started on Christmas morning.

2 shots espresso or strong coffee
1 cup milk
a few drops of peppermint extract or 1 tablespoon creme de menthe or 1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps
whipped cream for garnish
1 candy cane

1. Brew coffee. Add milk to a cup to steam on espresso machine, or to a saucepan to heat on the stove-top, or heat in a coffee mug in the microwave.
2. Add espresso and milk to a coffee mug. Add peppermint extract or alcohol. Top with whipped cream if desired an add a candy cane.

Egg Nog Latte
Egg Nog Latte

2. Eggnog Latte
Boozy or not, eggnog lattes will make your day much merrier.

2 shots espresso, or strong coffee
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup eggnog (I used Evan Williams, an eggnog with alcohol, however you can use whichever alcoholic or non-alcoholic brand you prefer) whipped cream, for garnish freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

1. Brew coffee. Add milk and eggnog to a cup to steam on espresso machine, or to a saucepan to heat on the stove-top, or heat in a coffee mug in the microwave.
2. Add espresso and milk and eggnog to a coffee mug and top with whipped cream if desired an garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Related: 9 surprising reasons why coffee is good for you

Coconut Cardamom Spiced Latte
Coconut Cardamom Spiced Latte

3. Coconut Cardamom Spiced Latte
This vegan spiced latte features the pleasant fragrance of cardamom and soothing coconut milk.

2 cups plain soy milk
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom + a pinch of whole pods if you have them
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne (or less if too spicy for you)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Optional: 1 vanilla bean pod + seeds or splash of vanilla extract

Caffeine (choose one):
3 black tea bags + 1/4 cup water
1/2 - 2 cups strongly brewed coffee
2 shots espresso


1. This recipe is all about the simmering of the liquid with the spices. Add all the base ingredients to a small sauce pot.
2. Heat on medium for at least 15 minutes - allow to slowly simmer - but not burn.
3. When the mixture has simmered to a slow boil for enough time you can add in your caffeine option (or drink as is for caffeine free - kid friendly!)

Note: Strain out the cardamom seeds and cloves before serving (they are shown in photos just as presentation.The base liquid will be quite rich - so you can choose to use as much or as little as you'd like. I made a black tea latte with about 1 part brewed black tea and 1 part creamy base and it was delicious. You can even pour over ice for a chilled latte.

Honey Rum Marshmallows
Honey Rum Marshmallows

4. Honey Rum Marshmallows
No matter what kind of warm holiday drink you're making, it's definitely going to be better with these yummy homemade honey rum marshmallows!

1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 envelopes gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rum extract - or substitute vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup powdered sugar non-stick spray

1. In your stand mixer, place 1/2 cup cold water and gelatin. Mix to combine. Put on whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup water, sugar, honey and salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, just wait till the bubbles get thinner and much larger.
2. When honey mixture is ready, slowly pour it into stand mixer while mixer is on low speed. Turn mixer to medium. When it starts to bubble and get a little thicker turn to high and mix for about 15 minutes. (If you turn the mixer to high too quickly, the hot candy will fly all around your kitchen.)
3. While this is mixing, take a 9 x 13 pan and spray with nonstick spray. Add cornstarch and powdered sugar to a bowl and mix well. Add cornstarch and sugar mixture to 9 x 13 pan and dust it well. Pour out the excess and reserve for later.
4. When mixture is thick and white, add rum or vanilla extract. Mix until well incorporated.
5. Spray spatula with nonstick spray and use it to transfer marshmallow mixture to 9 x 13 pan. Dust with just enough cornstarch and powdered sugar to cover. Let sit at least 4 hours, or overnight.
6. To cut marshmallows. Transfer to a cutting board and cut with a pizza roller or a pizza rocker knife. Use the reserved cornstarch and powdered suger to dust all sides of the marshmallows. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
7. Heat apple cider and top with marshmallows and freshly grated cinnamon.

Vegan Egg Nog Latte
Vegan Egg Nog Latte

5. Vegan Eggnog Latte
Vegans shouldn't have to miss out on the fun of an egg nog-infused latte.

Obviously most eggnog beverages not only contain dairy, but also eggs. Double whammy for vegans. But luckily there are more than a few brands of store-bought "soy nog" that tastes creamy and rich just like nog should be. I like Earth Balance and Silk brands best. So to make a Soy Nog Latte all you need to do is add soy nog and espresso. I like to top off with some foamed soy creamer and a swirl of homemade coconut cream or soy whipped cream. Soyatoo is a super store-bought brand of vegan whipped cream from a can.
Try these spices to enhance the flavor of your nog: cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon.

Tip: To recreate that true "nog" flavor at home - don't forget the ground cardamom spice!

- By Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell
Follow Elizabeth and Brian on Babble

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