Over the summer I took a general biology class to kick start my back to school adventures. It was the first of four classes I needed to take in order to apply to a holistic nutrition program, and it was a fantastic class. It wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t hard. I learned a lot and had plenty of free time to spend my summer in the mountains.
Fast forward to now and my life consists of chemistry and Starbucks. One of these is not like the other. By that I mean I love my job, and I hate my class. I’m in a constant mood of “blah” and I miss my mountain adventures. Things feel chaotic and I am no longer in a constant place of zen.
I’ve realized spending each and every day stressing over one class is doing nothing but damage. My grade isn’t benefiting from my stress, and my happiness is nonexistent. In an attempt to balance my life again I’ve decided to focus on myself, and not feel guilty about it. When I’m done with my school work for the day – I’ll be done. I will do something for myself and not think twice.
OK I may think twice at first, but in time I hope to balance out my work and play. I started with an at home coffee tasting pairing Starbucks 2014 espresso blend with a pumpkin fudgy cookie.
Life is too short to be miserable, and this class is not worth my stress. If I do the work, I know I will be fine. So I put away my books and turned on my oven to create this mouthwatering pairing.
These cookies are VERY rich, but mildly sweet. Think of them as a breakfast cookie, making them an acceptable pairing for your morning cup of coffee – specifically this espresso roast.
Pumpkin Fudgy Truffle Cookies
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup almond butter
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup raw/organic cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine all items except the nibs in a food processor or large bowl and mix until well combined. Add in the nibs and scoop each cookie onto a lined baking sheet, or use a pizza stone like I do. This made 12 cookies.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are firm and center isn’t mushy.
These cookies are soft like a truffle, fudgy like a brownie, and round like a cookie. It’s the best of all three worlds. The raw nibs balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup, but for a sweeter cookie use regular chocolate chips instead. I’m trying to behave with my sugar intake. Trying.
Tasting Notes: The espresso blend has a caramel sweetness to it that pairs beautifully with flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices. The acidity is low and the body is full helping to enhance the pumpkin flavors of these cookies. Each bite and each sip came together holding hands like two preschool kids on the playground. Two thumbs way, WAY up for this blend.
This coffee will be available to the public sometime next month. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I just couldn’t resist this deliciously smooth coffee. A warm cup of the holidays is the perfect way to slow down & appreciate life one day at a time, wouldn’t you agree?
Q: What are your go to activities when you’re in need of some balance? For me I need to explore, bake, run, blog, or simply enjoy a good book or tea with a friend.
62 thoughts on “Starbucks Christmas Espresso Coffee Tasting”
drooling over those cookies!!! How well do you think the would ship to NJ?? I am more than willing to find out! haha 🙂
They wouldn’t ship very well, simply because I would eat them all before getting a chance to send them. HAHA!
Oh to live in a place with views as beautiful as the ones in your photos! I hope you manage to find that work/life balance. Life kinda sucks if you end up all work and no play.
Those cookies look so fudgy and squishy. That is the perfect cookie texture in my opinion! 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Oh girl… I feel ya on the work/life balance. I actually just started up classes a little while ago to become a holistic nutritionist, and the course load, in addition to work and blogging, is kind of killing my will to live 😆 I find that exercise helps bring me down from the ledge… And so does reading, gaming, or hanging out with friends.
I’m going for holistic nutrition too….and this chemistry crap is giving me second thoughts. HA.
I hate chemistry. That is all. You will get through it though! I don’t blame you for missing the mountains and having time to explore. Being stuck inside studying is seriously the worst. I feel for you!
Those classes that eat up your life are the worst, and you’re right that them make it very easy to forget the all important balance. Glad you’re working to take a little more time for you, especially if that time involves cookies 🙂
First of all, I love you and your blog. I feel like we are soul sisters. I miss working at Starbucks sometimes…the free drinks while you work, the free lb of weekly coffee, the fun… These cookies look amazing and they will be made by me today. My go-to zentivities (just made up that word but I’m loving it) include running, reading, and being out doors.
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Awww, thank you! Starbucks really is fantastic, I love this job. Zentivities <—– best new word.
ahhhh hi want this coffee and these cookies, like stat. gosh i know we’re meant to be friends. balance in my life, aka what makes my heart happy: run run run, hang out with my fam, go to the lake, see my girlfriends, read, nap, make stuff. 🙂
Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill
These cookies look amazing – and I’m glad you are taking time for yourself too! We need those times to be functional!
I love your coffee pairings- so cool! Those cookies sound delish, I can imagine that they would go well with coffee! My go-to activity when i’m stressed is reading. I like that a good book can totally take you away from whatever your stressing about and just wrap you up in the story!
So true, like crawling into Narnia.
I want this cookie in my belly NOW! It’s 9:43 am which means, I should be eating cookies already (Thats what happens when you’re up at 5- it’s practically lunch time) However, while I may not have those amazing cookies in my life at the moment, there is a starbucks across the street that i think i’ll grace with my presence after I finish this comment. also- dont worry about your class- you’re very smart I’m sure you’re doing absolutely great!
Yup, I had two of these at 8:45am today, which was already my second breakfast, or lunch by work standards.
The Vegan 8
Wow! Omg I just wrote a chocolate fudgy pumpkin recipe myself too lol! I didn’t use as much pumpkin though, because I don’t like too much pumpkin or them to be too soft, but these look incredible and yes, super healthy and perfect for breakfast! Or anytime really!
Great attitude too! You are doing your best so stress will only make it worse!
OH I can’t wait to see/try your recipe!!
Thanks. I just added 2 more recipes of yours to my list of recipes to try. And by “list”, i mean notebook. College ruled notebook. Gah. I need endorphin pumping workouts to balance me out. Running, spinning, strength, boxing, etc…it clears my brain, brings out the creativity & great ideas (which i have none of btw), makes me happy & brings things into perspective. AND, gives confidence to handle all the chaos! Haha
Amy @ A Desert Girl
Kevin is so excited for the Christmas espresso roast. It’s his second favorite roast, after the Valentines Day blend.
Keep up your excellent attitude about the class. Treat it like a job – don’t take it “home” with you more than you have to.
Life is too short to be miserable. I totally agree. I wish I had more of a balance – I’m trying, but its not happening right now. Seven classes plus sixteen hours of work a week and everything I love is slipping. I will get back to it though – you are inspiring me!
Those cookies look amazing!! Thanks for sharing. A good way for me to relieve stress is some yoga, and not even necessarily the intense, Vinyasa-kind 🙂
You had me at “breakfast cookie”. Especially those of the fudgey variety. Life is too short to let stress get you down. I know it’s really hard (I’m notorious for letting stress consume me completely.), but making time for yourself is definitely good 🙂
Rach @ This Italian Family
I can actually eat these! The look delicious! Love that they don’t have sugar in them. 🙂 I’m glad you took some time off for yourself. 🙂
di @ life of di.
What a great pairing 🙂 I will need to pick up a bag of that Starbucks Christmas Espresso Coffee! Yum. I also hope to make some of those cookies before baby girl comes (or I guess I can try and make some while she is napping.) 🙂 Love the ingredients. Also – I love MyWholeFoodLife recipes! I’ve tried a ton of them and she never disappoints!
Also, when I need balance I take a bath with a good book (and either a cup of coffee, smoothie or tea!)
Matt @ Runner Savvy
When I need balance I get some crappy magazines and head out to happy hour. I drink sangrias and read stupid health tips and fit tips while debunking them in my head and then telling the bartender who keeps the drinks coming. #reallife
This makes me think you are 10x cooler than I already did. Seriously, major props for doing that. I should try it! I don’t drink though…so maybe a food based happy hour.
Kayla Vashti (@kaylavashti)
I find that just catching up on some blogs, jotting down my own ideas/brain dumping and cleaning something in the house helps. Of course, my workout helps, too, but I am referring to more of the evening time because that is usually when I would feel the most stressed.
GiGi Eats Celebrities
When I am a CRAZEEEEEEEEDDDDD HYENA on CRACK…… I…. TEXT YOU! AH ha ah aha ha! You’re my sanity – so please don’t let Chem FU** WITH YOU because then who the heck am I supposed to turn to. You and I BOTH KNOW everyone in LA is CRAZYYYYY!! LOL!
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
That coffee is just screaming to be paired with some deep, dark chocolate 😀 gah those look so fudgey I could die. Or eat all of them continuously until I die. That’d be a happy way to go 🙂 and I’m really not looking forward to the holiday season flying by, as usual, but I did get way too excited when I saw the red bag of coffee on this post, not to mention the red CUP on last time’s post haha
Your photos are beautiful and you’re a genius. That sounds soooo good. And good for you for realizing a class isn’t worth stressing over.
Yikes, Chemistry does not sound fun, but I’m impressed with how you’re surviving! I love your ideas for finding balance. I have had a CRAZY life lately and could really use some balance and “me time!” I’m sad winter is coming because it seems like the great outdoors always help to put life into perspective.
Running on those mountains then coffee and cookies for post work-out meal… heaven! 🙂
Arman @ thebigmansworld
Urgh. Don’t get me started on work/life balance.
I can’t believe I’m going to be all serious here, but I LOVE these posts because I have to have the perfect strong, black coffee with my breakfast cookies (which have been standard all week…sue me).
I’d never sue you for this….I would join you. That sounds like the perfect morning. I can’t taint my coffee with that creamer shit, must be pure and black!
Change of Pace
Mmm- those sound delicious, especially the texture!
Sorry to hear you’re stressing about school. Glad you found a solution to it!
For me, reading, walking Harold, or escaping to the mountains always helps with balance!!
Um so…those fudgy cookies look amazing!! Best of all, they’re gluten free so I could actually eat them 😀 I will have to make them soon – thanks for the recipe!!! 🙂
Looks and sounds like an awesome pairing! And I’ve gotten to the point where “me” time is so worth having no matter what. Work/school is important, but in the long run, it only matters if you are happy and in a well, content state of mind 🙂
An Unrefined Vegan
Good for you for taking back your happiness!! And for making those outrageous COOKIES!
I feel you on the chemistry front!
Im just in intro to Chem for Health Science I have a feeling you are in Orgo though which I heard is balls to the wall insane.
I understand that… feeling of pressure but just like you – we got this! We do our studying, we show up, we do our best. That’s all we can do.
And, you know, there is like a “limit” to how much the brain can take. My prof tells me all the time I do TOO much and do TOO many problems.
One hour a day for me and BOOM. Closing shop.
UGH you wanna know what the worst part is…I’m NOT taking OChem right now, I’m taking GENERAL CHEM. AKA it shouldn’t be that difficult right? WELL I have to take BIOchem AND OChem once (if) I start this nutrition program. I’m having second thoughts…
I’m so glad there is another “granola” out there who loves coffee as much as I do! Take your breaks and enjoy life.
Holy fudge. Holy. Freaking. Fudge.
Those cookies look amazing girl! A serving size is the entire batch, right? 😉
Yes, you are completely correct. Eat all the cookies. 🙂
Khushboo Thadani (@KhushbooThadani)
You are absolutely right about needing to strike a work-life balance…otherwise it’s a recipe for burn-out! When work gets busy, I try to keep my sanity by fitting in workouts, time-out with friends and watching mindless telly–> anything that doesn’t make me think too much!
Love the sound of the cookies, even more so that you added in some tips about coffee pairing!
aww girl, this post makes me wanna bring over some treats (or eat what you already made) and just ‘good time it out.’ if you’ve never heard of the expression ‘good time it out’ it basically just means i distract you from school and stress until you’re laughing about something or the other 🙂
You almost lost me with those pictures of nature already. I must have stared at them longingly for a good minute. But I’m glad I scrolled further because these cookies are nothing short of incredible. In fact, I don’t usually like cookies but these look so fudgy I’d make an exception. And by exception I mean eat a whole batch all by myself. Baking is therapy. Best after a good run outside.
Soft cookies are seriously the best! And paired with coffee…even better!
The school stress has been the one thing keeping me away from online meteorology classes. I really love weather but I’m scared off by all the crazy math classes that I know I won’t use but are required. Why can’t we just take the interesting classes and skip the rest?
I KNOW. I so wish we could just skip the useful stuff.
Hang in there girl!! People who get gen chem usually don’t do so well with ochem, and vice versa. So… If there’s another chem class on the horizon, you’re going to totally ace it!! (Seriously, that’s been our entire department’s experience with it, both as undergrads as as TAs.) So proud of you for taking time for yourself to balance too!!
GOOD TO KNOW! I took into to organic chem a few years ago (though I don’t remember much) but I do think I had a better time with it than I do with this one. I am terrified for full blown organic and biochem…but…I will SURVIVE! 🙂 I’m holding onto a solid 90% right now in gen chem. I’ll be happy leaving the class with an 80! HA.
You’re gonna hang onto that 90% just fine girl!! I have faith in you! 🙂 And it just gets easier from here!
Whooooaaa. These cookies look amazing!!! When I need some balance, I go outside and explore or do yoga. Though sometimes, you gotta get together with a good friend and vent.
Oh my goodness. Those cookies look so delightfully rich! I’ll have to try these out sometime. My family also loves the Christmas blend 🙂
I feel like the Hubby could have written this post, minus the whole tasting notes, which were awesome by the way. He does not love some of his classes at all, and so we find ways to try to manage the stress while keeping our eye on the main prize (being a pharmacist or for you holistic nutrition).
Keep finding time for you. It will actually help with the stress, which will help with the class. Exercise, eat right, and get lots of sleep and remember it will all be worth it when you’re done. I know we all like to do things that make us happy all the time, but that just isn’t realistic. Sometimes we gotta kiss a few frogs to get to the prince. Not the same concept, but you get the metaphor. Hang in there; it’ll be over soon. You are doing great.
Wow, these look so delicious, perfect to combine with a cup of coffee 🙂
When I need some balance, there are a lot of things I like to do: go hiking, maybe bake something, go for a cup of coffee with a friend … the most important thing is that I put my work aside and just take a moment for my own happiness. And having positive people around makes the stress disappear completely 🙂
Gosh these cookies look outrageously miam! Lovely shots of the mountains, totally understand where you’re coming from. I majored in pre-pharm and classes were pretty intense. My go-to-activity is definitely reading with a cuppa tea, cleaning, doing laundry (OMFG), cooking, and spending time with friends and have a drink haha!
Now that sounds like my ideal combination–espresso and a fudgy delicious cookie? Yesss. 🙂
Oh gaaawd they look sooo good!!
WOW, I can’t wait to try this! Running to starbucks ASAP. Lovely blog as well!
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