Whenever I make a pit-stop at Starbucks, I do my best to enter with a plan in mind. For example, I may tell myself that “Today I am going to order a grande Soy Latte,” or around the holidays I would say, “This time I will get the tall Skinny Peppermint Mocha.” Armed with a healthier decision in mind, I walk in confident and trusting of the decision I am about to make.
However, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I enter that store and see the tempting baked goods behind the counter, or see drink names such as “Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino” or “Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate,” I can feel my knees get a little shaky and my head becomes so light I am afraid it will blow away the minute I walk back out the door.
Look how yummy I look!!! (source)
I take a minute to recollect my thoughts and scour the menu while I wait in line. Wait, why am I even looking though, as if I don’t know what I want? I decided before I even came in what I would get to drink, remember?! We had a plan! Ahh sigh.
So when it’s finally my turn with the cashier, I take a deep breath, squint so to not see the blueberry scones making one last attempt to distract me, and order a “Grande, Nonfat, Half-pump Mocha.” Whooo! There, I said it. My drink is the perfect mixture of decadence while still slightly wearing a halo. But then, the dreaded question comes out of the mouth of the unsuspecting barista ,who doesn’t realize the battle he has now waged inside my head..
“With Whipped Cream, or Without??”
Seriously, what kind of question is that?! I am being asked to choose between a rich and decadent sweet cream that livens up and beautifies anything it touches, or having my coffee drink…plain? Well, that’s just cruel.
* Good won against evil that day, as I go with my head while my heart continues to scream for me to say yes. I politely answer, “Without please,” and can feel the weight slowly lifting off my shoulders. I then pay with my card, and make my way to the Order Pick-up. I am proud of myself for staying strong, but wish so much that whipped cream was as calorie free and low fat as the espresso in my drink. Upon first sip, I am still happy with my decision, but also miss that sugary, decadent and fluffy goodness.
(* Just to be clear, I do not think whipped cream is good or evil. It is a food, not a villain.. ;-) Order per your own taste!)
As much as I love whipped cream, for the taste and the visual attractiveness it brings to my drink, I don’t add it to my coffee drinks on a regular basis. Usually once or twice around the holidays I will order my favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream as a special treat. Most days though, I try and order without and save whipped cream for special occasions.
Well, last Saturday my mom hosted a belated Christmas brunch for us, her friends and their daughters. We decided the main course would be waffles so we could use the new waffle maker Tim and I had gotten her for Christmas. She loved the one we got for our wedding, so we decided to replace hers with a shiny new model as well.
We wanted to create a “waffle bar” and laid out a variety of toppings so our guests could choose their own, such as chocolate chips, pecans, coconut..
and… homemade whipped cream! Oh. My. Goodness. I have never made homemade whipped cream before, but I have to say it may have been the best I have ever had, even from a restaurant. A little bit went a long way so it was perfect as a small dollop on top of freshly made waffles.
Adapted from this recipe, it was so incredibly easy to make. After tasting this whipped cream, it will be hard to ever go back to the store bought canned version again.
Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place cream, sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl.
Use hand mixer to beat until stiff peaks are formed.
Use as a dessert topping that will knock your guests socks off! Refrigerate any leftovers, but just a warning, there probably won’t be anything left.. :-)
Questions for the Readers
What is your favorite decadent coffee drink to order when you need a special treat?
Mine is definitely the pumpkin spice latte. Since it is only around for a short time, I literally count down until it’s return! Usually by the end of the season though, I have had enough and need the break from the flavor until the following fall.
What do you think: With Whipped Cream, or Without?
With if I am feeling bad..! Without though 99% of the time, ha!