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During this past year, I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone just a bit and tried some new things. I started working out at the gym with my hubby. Not just walking on a treadmill, but actually using free weights and the exercise machines. I drove 15 hours each way from TN to upstate NY with my two daughters for my niece’s wedding. I became a Plexus ambassador and now step out to share about wellness with others. I started eating peanut butter with celery (I was SO not a peanut butter fan!) Another month, I drove alone 13 hours each way from TN to the Outer Banks, NC to attend a conference. But, perhaps the most surprising thing that I did in the past year was to begin drinking coffee.
If you know me at all, you would know what a HUGE change this is for me. I am more than 40 years old and disliked coffee for all of those years. However, my family all loves coffee. I saw all of the delicious coffee flavors they drank and wanted to try them myself. Plus, there’s something sort of quaint about going to a coffee shop to sit and chat with my Honey on our date nights.
While I’m not a black coffee fan, nor do I like hot beverages, I do like my coffee creations. My favorite indulgence is a Frappé- a mixture of cold coffee (I brew a pot of strong coffee, let it cool, and keep it in the refrigerator), a few ice cubes, a splash of half & half, and NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Liquid Coffee Creamer. I simply put all of the ingredients into our blender and let it grind up the ice. The end result is a frothy and tasty treat. I’ve tried many flavors but was completely hooked when I tried the new Chocolate Boutique flavors. Oh my. The salted caramel chocolate liquid coffee creamer is DELICIOUS!
A friend of mine is similar to me. She’s never been much of a coffee fan, but recently gave my coffee creation a try. She was hooked too. I decided to treat her with a gift basket to welcome her to the coffee side!
A Gift Basket for a New Coffee Lover:
The first thing I knew that I had to include was NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Liquid Coffee Creamer Chocolate Boutique flavors. There are three, and all three are delicious:
- Salted Caramel
- Café Mocha
Another thing that I wanted to add was a yummy coffee cake to go with her coffee drinks. I took my favorite coffee cake recipe and instead of baking it in one large pan, I separated the recipe into four small loaf pans. To tie the coffee cake together with the creamers, I used the Café Mocha creamer in the icing recipe. Get creative with these liquid creamers! The flavors are easily swapped for the liquid ingredient in many recipes, icing is a super simple swap! (recipe is posted below!)
Since my friend actually likes hot coffee drinks as well as cold, I included both types of coffee cups for her. To dress up the plain hot coffee cup, we used Sharpie oil-based paint pens and wrote a cute saying on it. Any mistakes were easily cleaned up with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Once we were happy with the design, it went into the oven and baked at 350*F for 30 minutes to set the paint.
Another cute addition I made to include were chocolate spoons. I found adorable wooden spoons. After melting white chocolate in my handy Wilton chocolate warmer, I dipped the spoon into the chocolate, then set it on waxed paper to dry. Once dry, I melted a bit of dark chocolate mixed with coconut oil to make it thin enough to drizzle over the white chocolate. Once dry, I wrapped them in treat bags and tied with twine for a rustic look.
My graphic designer daughter, Natalie, created a coffee cup stencil for me to paint a cute cup on this cute basket I picked up while shopping. If you’d like to make your own gift basket (or just want a super cute coffee cup stencil hand-drawn by Natalie!), you can click on the photo of the stencil above (or click here) to download your own copy. Simply scale the size to print it to fit your basket.
After we painted the cup on the box, we added a bit of washi tape on the top and bottom, along with some cute stickers.
Since the basket was a bit deep and I wanted more of a wow! factor, I found another box (we get probably way too many Amazon deliveries, so we always have a wide assortment of boxes!) and covered it with tissue paper. I turned that box upside down and put it into the bottom of my gift basket. This box acts as a riser and elevates the contents. Then it was easy to fill the basket with all of the items a new coffee lover would need.
I added all of the above- hot coffee cup, cold coffee cup, chocolate spoons, coffee cake, and liquid coffee creamers, along with a mason jar filled with my favorite coffee and a coffee scoop.
This was such a fun gift basket to put together! Sharing my new-found love of coffee with a friend was a fun!
To stock up on this delicious coffee creamer, be sure to visit your local WalMart. I found them in the dairy case, on the top shelf, where all good things hang out. 😉 Be sure to use the iBotta app to save $.75 on your creamer purchase!
To whom would you gift a coffee lover gift basket? Anything extra you’d add to this basket?
- Cake ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons coffee granules
- 1-1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup
butter,cut into small pieces
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- Frosting ingredients:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cafe mocha coffee creamer
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup white chocolate
- ¼ cup dark chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons coconut
- Cake instructions:
- Stir to combine flour, coffee granules, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
- Press 2 Tablespoons mixture into bottom of 4 well-greased small loaf pans OR press half of mixture into the bottom of a well-greased 9" square cake pan.
- Combine sour cream, baking soda, and egg, stir well.
- Mix in the remaining crumb mixture. Add pecans. Stir to combine.
- Pour over crumb mixture in pans (divide evenly among the 4 small loaf pans.)
- Bake at 350* for 40 minutes for small loaf pans or 45-50 minutes for 9" square cake pan.
- To make
frosting, mix all ingredients until smooth.
- Frost cooled cake(s). If desired, melt white chocolate and dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon coconut oil each. Drizzle over cakes. Top with a handful of chopped pecans.
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