Urban Nester tells us that she has unlocked the secret of creating that amazing autumn beverage we all love at home with her Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe!

 

There’s no way we could turn a treat like this down, especially when there is enough to share.

 

Join us for a test-run that could take the crockpot to a whole new level of awesome!

 

Please click here to visit Urban Nester and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To find an easy way to recreate the coveted Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte – with a crockpot no less!

 

Details:

cooking - SarahI’m currently living a Paleo lifestyle, so I wanted to adjust this recipe to work for me.

  • I substituted dairy milk with almond milk.
  • I also decided to substitute homemade maple syrup for the confectioners sugar.

Once I got everything ready, I followed the directions closely. Since I was substituting the sugar with maple syrup…

  • I cut the amount to 6T since it was a liquid sweetener vs. sugar.

As soon as I poured in the vanilla extract, I decided that 8T was probably too much – I instantly smelled the alcohol and wasn’t too keen on it. I instantly wished I would have cut the amount down a bit.

  • In addition, based on comments on the recipe post, I decided to up the ante on the strength of my coffee and did about 1.5 teaspoons of the instant coffee I used per cup vs. just 1 teaspoon.

As it cooked in the crockpot, my kitchen began to smell of fall, which was awesome! I loved the scent it left around my home – so festive. This is my favorite time of year, so anything making it feel even more festive is so fun!

Once the latte had cooked for two hours, I gave it a whirl! It was much better than straight black coffee, but it just didn’t turn out as awesome as I had hoped. I have no doubt if I tried it as specified that I would have really liked the end result. I did forget to pick up some cinnamon sticks, so I lacked the extra sizzle those would have added.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be open to trying all recipes – in my opinion you can adapt most of them to work for your own eating habits. Adapting this recipe to meet my Paleo lifestyle worked just fine!

Pros:

Super easy to prep and a fantastic idea for a group gathering.

Cons:

Didn’t love the end result as much as hoped.

It was a bit slimy from the pumpkin puree and it had a strong aftertaste, which wasn’t super pleasant. I’m not sure if the aftertaste was due to the vanilla extract, the additional coffee I added or the lack of sugar.

We Tried It - Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Conclusion:

Unfortunately, I probably won’t try this again as much as I’d like to say I would.

It is a fabulous idea and some may love it!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: A great way to combine some of my favorite things: pumpkin, coffee and time with friends!  The lovely Alicia joined me to whip up this fall delight.

 

Details:

We measured everything out and followed the recipe to a “T”, including the massive amount of vanilla called for.  Good thing I had homemade vanilla on hand by the boatload from last year’s Christmas gifts!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

My Crock-Pot cooks at warp-speed, so I knew that this drink would be done in half the time.  After an hour, we checked and it was indeed done!  I wouldn’t cook it any longer.

I would think about adding more (if not doubling) the amount of pumpkin and spices in the future, as well as adding more of the strong coffee and less milk to get that “Pumpkin Spice” flavor that we all know and love.

I’d skip the cinnamon sticks, too.  While they’re a super cute garnish, I felt like adding more cinnamon spice may have been better.

Tap a little Pumpkin Pie Spice over your whipped cream for a little coffee shop flare.

Pros:

Pretty darn tasty after an hour, and very easy to throw together!

Cons:

This needs to be enjoyed as soon as it’s done.  By the time we had gone back for seconds, the milk tasted like it was a little funky.

Then, after Alicia left, I tried adding a little more pumpkin puree and it got even funkier.  Bummer.

We Tried It - Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Conclusion:

Sweet and a little spicy.  A nice change from the regular weekend coffee routine, although I would cut the recipe in half to make sure that you can enjoy it all before it gets weird.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Nothing better than the smell of pumpkin spice to bring you into the fall season! This is by far my favorite drink this time of year!

 

Details:

Cooking - Kristy

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Refrigerate the left overs!  I read a lot of questions on the original post regarding this and I must say, it was just as good the next day!

I would use a tad bit less vanilla, as I think it took away from the spice.  I will try Pumpkin Pie Spice next time as I like a richer taste of the pumpkin spice!

Pros:

Cheaper than Starbucks and can made in large patches to share!

Cons:

Travelling with this is scary in that crock pot!  Get a large thermos!

We Tried It - Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Conclusion:

Mike and I both enjoyed it!  We aren’t coffee drinkers so it was a nice treat to have in the morning!  A couple of tweaks and I believe this will rank higher on my list than Starbucks!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Amanda

Mission: Kick fall off with a crock of pumpkin goodness.

 

 

Details:

I mostly followed the original recipe minus the whipping cream.

  • I used skim milk and pure Vanilla Extract.
  • For the coffee I used 6 shots of espresso (we like it strong in our house). Since this meant less liquid I did substitute in an additional cup of milk.

I set the timer on my crockpot for an hour to be certain I stirred it often enough. I find that cooking with dairy products in the crockpot can be touchy. After an hour the milk had already started to get a little border line curdled so I decided to give it a good stir and taste it. The flavors had already combined so I turned the crock off and poured a glass.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Definitely cook on low and really watch your time since crocks can vary in temperature.

Pros:

Very easy to throw together and made the house smell like fall.

Cons:

Dairy in the crock is still risky in my mind and after an hour it was heading into bad places which proved my theory right.

We Tried It - Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Conclusion:

If I made this recipe again I would change a few of things. I would reduce the amount of vanilla. The flavor was far too intense. I would say half would be enough. I would also reduce the cook time and strain the liquid before serving. The pumpkin seemed to just settle at the bottom which was kind of gross.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5 – Alicia

Mission: To create a yummy beverage for fall/cooler weather at Maren’s house. Who doesn’t love spice lattes and going to Maren’s?!

 

Details:

Cookin' MH + AWWe stuck to the ingredients just as they were recommend by Urban Nester, even the ½ cup of vanilla extract – really?!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

This recipe is as easy as it sounds. Add everything to the crockpot and heat on high for about 2 hours.

Maren and I thought 8Tbsp or ½ cup seemed like a lot of vanilla extract, but oh so good.

We also thought that the pumpkin flavor was not as noticeable and adding a bit more was definitely needed.

Pros:

This was deliriously delicious and it makes a huge batch.

Cons:

Large crockpot needed or cut the recipe in half.

We Tried It - Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Conclusion:

I am not a coffee drinker. If I do indulge in a cup, it is severely flavored with cream and sugar with a splash of coffee. Maren was so kind to invite me over and try this recipe. It was delicious and tastes even better when chatting with a friend. We laughed and giggled our way through this recipe and it was a success! I will definitely make this again.

 

 We Tried It - Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes!


The lovely
Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes and photo by Urban Nester


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Rose Bakes found the perfect cocoa accoutrement with her Peppermint Marshmallow Dips for Hot Chocolate.  Thankfully, she has shared this treat with us all!

 

With kids home on Christmas break, and snow falling from the sky, we couldn’t wait to test-run these treats!

 

Please click here to visit Rose Bakes and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Keep my tots busy while making a sweet treat to gift during the holidays.

 

 

Details:

  • Happy TasterI used Chocolate Mint Candy Canes because we have a chocolate addiction in this house. Not necessary, but a major perk as it added to the chocolate flavor of our cocoa.
  • We also used some round sprinkles that were multi-colored just for something different. They were a bit messy but the look was pretty.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I did this little project with my kiddos so I made sure we had everything lined up and ready roll before melting the chocolate. They stuck the straws into the marshmallows and even dipped them all on their own. That just shows you how easy this is and it really did make for a great project on a cold winters day.

Amanda - Marshmallows 1

Pros:

Easy and most things were on hand. I happen to keep those little straws in my party supply drawer so we were stocked and ready!

Cons:

None unless you have an aversion to chocolate and messes. There were a lot of both since it was an “assisted” project.

Amanda - Marshmallows 2

Conclusion:

I think this would be fun for Valentine’s Day too and even Easter. It doesn’t warm up in my neck of the woods until very late spring so we indulge in cocoa through a lot of holidays!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Katie

Mission: Give your hot chocolate, in the words of Elle Woods “a little something extra.”

 

 

Details:

  • Grab a bag of marshmallows, coffee stirrers, chocolate chips, lay a sheet of wax paper over a platter, melt your chocolate chips and get to dippin!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I always seem to burn chocolate if I try to melt it in the microwave so I decided to use a mini crockpot: my Little Dipper was perfect for this task!

Katie - Marshmallows 1

Pros:

Quick, simple and oh so festive.

Cons:

None…it involves chocolate, how could there be a con??

Katie - Marshmallows 2

Conclusion:

A quick, simple and oh so festive treat!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: I LOVE me some marshmallows…seriously, I have a fixation with Peeps! So, let’s just say I had no problem trying these out!

 

Details:

  • Finding the candy canes was the hardest part for me – it wasn’t quite the holiday season yet, so they weren’t in many places. I ended up snagging them at Target, along with all the other ingredients.
  • I opted for dark chocolate chips – which I LOVE and I felt it made this a bit more “grown-up”.
  • After finishing these up, my kiddos and I also made homemade hot chocolate – such a great winter treat! These two things together were so nummy, they gave me warm fuzzies.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If candy canes are no where to be found – you can always use the peppermint hard candies as a replacement!

Use a Ziploc baggy and a rolling pin to crush your candy canes – was kind of messy, but easy to do.

Sarah - Marshmallows 1

Pros:

Quick, easy, cheap and delicious in hot chocolate or on their own. My kids absolutely loved them!

And, if you have time to package them up cute, an awesome present!

Cons:

Just a bit messy, but anything in the kitchen is.

You may get a bit of candy cane stuck in your teeth!

Sarah - Marshmallows 2

Conclusion:

Awesome!

 

 

Marshmallow Conclusion


The lovely Peppermint Marshmallow Dips and it’s photo by Rose Bakes


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Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring

The Jones Way has caught our attention with her easy way to make Sticky Buns at home!  The Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring sounds almost too good to be true, so of course we had to find out to be sure!

 

Please click here to visit The Jones Way and see the recipe that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: Oh, yum! My childhood memories consist of sticky buns for breakfast! My Aunt Faye makes the best sticky buns so I decided to test these to see if this new twist with syrup and cinnamon could beat her recipe!

Details:

  • I used dark brown sugar instead of light! I hope the only difference is the color and not taste.
  • I used walnuts, good brain food and I have them on hand!
  • Ugh…I am not a baker! I always mess up with baking anything…even as simple as this recipe! I forgot to add the cinnamon so I sprinkled it across the top of the biscuits.
  • Being that I am too cheap to get a Bundt Pan which I don’t think I would ever use again; I instead opted for a 9in baking dish.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t know about you, but I always hate buying brown sugar because I rarely use it and when I do it for that rare recipe…it is hard as a rock! I decided to find a way to prevent this and found a bear. This little bear is supposed to help but again if you are like me and too cheap to do so… simply toss a piece of bread in with your hard brown sugar and viola…2 days later the sugar will be moist again!

Pros:

Quick and easy! Very tasty treat!

Cons:

Sticky…ha, hence the name! There are no “cons” here!

Conclusion:

YUMMY! Yes, Paleo friends…I ate them and enjoyed every bite! I had to eat them for the sake of the blog! Mike’s comments, “Un-Real” and “Phenomenal”! I did bring what was left of the dish to my coworkers who all devoured them!

This would be a great recipe for a shower or holiday brunch!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: Being pregnant has made my sweet tooth crave even more than normal! This breakfast treat looked too yummy to pass up!

 

Details:

I haven’t bought biscuits in forever – and in all honestly, I have a fear of opening those darn biscuit tubes…my husband always gives me a hard time about this!

This recipe looked amazing and sounded pretty easy to whip up, so we gave it a whirl!

  • I was super excited to use my grandmother’s Bundt Pan for this, as this was the first time I had put it to use and it is so darling.
  • Outside of the pain of opening the biscuits, this recipe was so easy and went together super quickly! We just zapped the butter in the microwave, added the agave syrup and then followed the steps noted. My kids helped by nibbling on brown sugar crumbs

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I substituted the pancake syrup with organic blue agave sweetner as that is what I had on-hand and prefer. This worked amazing and helped me feel a bit less guilty about all the sugary sweetness!

Pros:

Super easy to prep and make, delicious and both of my kiddos enjoyed it! That’s a plus!

Cons:

Left me begging for more!

Conclusion:

Two thumbs up! An awesome sweet breakfast treat and we loved it so much, we made it again a week later!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: Create sticky, gooey, delish sweet bread for the family to devour.

 

 

Details:

  • I used two small tubes of Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits and Aunt Jemima Syrup (this is the ONLY brand we buy in our house). The other ingredients are mostly generic.
  • I couldn’t find my Bundt Pan so I opted to layer it in a bread pan and it worked just as well! It would probably be prettier in a Bundt pan but why fuss if you don’t have to. Plus my kids really could care less about the shape. They just wanted the gooey goodness inside the pan.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It is definitely key to coat the pan well with nonstick baking spray. It would be oh so disappointing if it stuck.

Pros:

It really does taste homemade even though there are some obvious shortcuts. Win-win if you ask me!

Cons:

It is TOO good. Couldn’t. Stop. Eating. It.

Conclusion:

This sweet breakfast treat is the perfect thing to whip up on a special morning to impress company with. They will definitely be fooled into thinking you were up early slaving in the kitchen!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sheri

Mission: I really wanted to find an easy and delicious, crowd-pleasing breakfast treat. This recipe seemed to fit just right. Who can resist sticky buns?

 

Details:

I could not get over how incredibly easy this recipe was. A wet mixture (butter and syrup) and a dry mixture (brown sugar and cinnamon). I literally had this put together and in the oven in less than 5 minutes.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used butter to grease the pan instead of cooking spray…it added a little more flavor.

Pros:

Super easy, quick, and totally yummy.

Cons:

They don’t call it “sticky” breakfast bun for nothing.

Conclusion:

I was surprised how easily this sticky concoction just dropped right out of the pan and onto the plate. It was beyond delicious! Pleasing to both the eyes and the taste buds. I will definitely be making this often. It was just so easy. Who doesn’t love some cinnamon and brown sugar yumminess in the morning with their coffee?

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Maren

Mission: I grew up looking forward to sticky buns at my aunt and uncle’s house on Sunday mornings.  I knew that making them was a special tradition that wasn’t something that they just threw together.  Learning about this so-called quick and easy way to make a brunch favorite sounded almost too good to be true!!

Details:

  • In typical Maren fashion, I used rounded measurements and went a little heavy on… everything.
  • I am not a huge nut person, so I omitted them altogether.
  • I used my beloved Butter Flavored Pam.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I actually cooked this, covered it in foil, and then rode 45 minutes in the car to my mom’s house and put it back in the oven to warm it up.  I felt that the biscuits were a tad doughy in the middles, but no one else thought so, nor did they care as they all grabbed seconds and nearly licked their plates!

Pros:

I could hardly get a photo of this thing!  As soon as I turned to pick up my camera, my family dove in head first!

Everyone loved it.  Everyone.

Cons:

You can’t really tell when it’s done… just go with it!

Conclusion:

This super easy recipe is heading straight into my recipe book!  I can’t wait to impress our friends by making it at our next brunch!

 

 

 


The drool-worthy
Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring and it’s photo by The Jones Way


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WHAT?!  You heard us!  Pumpkin Scones, a la StarbucksWe Heart Food has shared with us the stuff that legends are made of.

Be prepared to be in high demand for every brunch, shower, birthday party, conference, book club… you will hold the key!

 

Please click here to visit We Heart Food and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: To bake something that I won’t consume the entire pan of upon completion. Major fail for me here which means these really were WTFOMG good!

 

Details:

  • I did not have half and half so I used ½ heavy cream and ½ whole milk, thanks to my kiddos.
  • Instead of using a fork to mix the butter into the dry ingredients I used a Pastry Cutter. So easy to get it all mixed in this way with a lot less effort.
  • To mix the dry ingredients with the wet, I started off using a wooden spoon but quickly realized I should have just used my KitchenAid. So I dumped it into the metal bowl and within a few seconds it was mixed perfectly. Sometimes I am pretty wise.
  • Also, I included testers of the 5 and under age group. HUGE success with that target market (not too shabby with the 30+ age group either).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use a mixer if you have one instead of your own brawn. Totally worth the end result with no sweat involved.

I decided that I would cut my scones even smaller since I knew kids would be consuming them. I didn’t get a chance to count them (that is how quickly they were eaten) but I dare say you can get nearly 2 dozen out of this recipe.

Pros:

UM seriously tasty and so appropriate for fall. Scones initially made me a little intimidated but these really were pretty simple and so worth making.

Cons:

I ATE TOO MANY. That is all.

Conclusion:

I will definitely be making these again. It would be fun for a Thanksgiving brunch or even around Christmas time.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  I have never in my life made scones. They’re a treat I recently discovered that I absolutely love; I’m just hoping I can do it. At least it’s not a dough that requires yeast, that would increase my chances of failure. My husband is not a huge pumpkin fan and if I can impress him with these I will consider this a success.

Details:

The instructions from We Heart Food seemed quite easy.

I finally got to use that little contraption my kids are always asking about, the Pastry Cutter. I don’t bake much so I’ve never used it before. It worked like a charm.

I also got to use the dough hook that came with my KitchenAid mixer. I’ve always been more of a cook than a baker.

The combination of the cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg was phenomenal.

My dough was rather sticky but I was able to get it rolled out into a 1-inch thick slab by just using my hands. As far as cutting the dough, the directions didn’t seem right or I read them wrong so I created my own way which worked great.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The frosting: follow the instructions perfectly. You don’t want it too runny because it will slide right off the scones. The second glaze needs to be a little thicker than the first for a reason…it blends all together if it’s not.

Pros:

Really easy and beyond delicious!!

Cons:

Me and confection sugar glaze have had a battle with each other since my elementary school days, but I FINALLY got it right this time!

Conclusion:

These are definitely a winner! My husband came downstairs asking what smelled so awesome. When I told him they were “pumpkin” scones he looked a little bit disappointed. That was until he ate one. He too exclaimed, “Oh My God!” followed by an obscene word and an “awesome!”

The kids had them for breakfast this morning and couldn’t believe I really made them. I’m taking the compliments as a success. Now I need to go see if they left me any.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: After laughing hysterically reading the post by Chris and Lisa of We Heart Food, I was pumped to make these scones! I have a scone recipe that is my old standby, but am always looking for tasty new flavors like pumpkin!  Mmmm!

Details:

I super stuck with the program on this recipe. I even leveled off my cups and spoons with the back of a knife!

I used a really handy trick for the drizzled icing.  Pour your icing into a baggie and snip off a teensy bit of the corner!  Instant pastry bag!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The next time I make these, I think that I’ll try using my Pastry Cutter and Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer which I LOVE! I would just like to see the difference in texture.

I floured the crap out of this dough, as it was a little sticky to roll out while still being able to pick them up to place on the baking sheet.  The texture wasn’t negatively affected, and the scones were a perfect, delicate baked consistency when done!  A little lighter and fluffier than your average heavy, dense scone, which I liked!

Careful that you don’t go overboard though.  There were a couple of scones that had excess flour on them and the first layer of icing didn’t want to adhere to those areas.

Cutting the scones… um, I somehow failed this part of the scone baking process. I just ate the stupid looking ones first.  Problem solved!

Pros:

Holy S#!T these ARE amazing!  I feel so proud of myself!

I feel like freaking Julia Child, minus the Julia Child voice {said with the Julia Child voice}

The drizzled icing has a strong presence of clove that really emphasizes the pumpkin flavor!  It is PERFECT!

Cons:

Apparently cutting 1 rectangle into 12 triangles is too complicated for me.

Conclusion:

I LOVE WTFOMG SCONES!!!  I cannot wait for my next chance to make these incredible treats to share! I want to show off this incredible recipe that practically turns me into Martha’s protégé!  I also want to eat mass quantities of this treat so I will have to always make double batches… note to self!  I just want to shout it to the world!

 

 


The drool-worthy
Pumpkin Scones and their photo by We Heart Food


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