Pumpkin Spice Latte - Easy

Just about everywhere you turn this October, just about every post on just about every blog has a recipe using pumpkin.  It's like, if a recipe was perfectly fine before, toss in some pumpkin and call it brand new. Pumpkin soup.  Pumpkin Oreos.  Pumpkin oatmeal. 

So I give up and stirred pumpkin into an otherwise fine and dandy dessert drink.
Caved in to peer pressure. Jumped on the bandwagon.  Hope you're happy now.

Did you know the pumpkin spice latte you get at that nation-wide coffee shop is not made with real  pumpkin?  Before you start getting all Food Babe about the alleged misleading name they gave it (or about the other ingredients), news flash Dear Reader:  Girl Scout cookies are not made from real girl scouts either.  That overpriced grande contains spices traditionally used in pumpkin recipes.  Just like that jar of pumpkin spice in the baking aisle. No powdered pumpkin in it either.

In contrast, this version has a couple tablespoons of real pumpkin whisked in.  Which gives the latte just a slight more body.  And in a good way. Made this drink for a pumpkin program at my local library, and everyone brave enough who tried a cup loved it.  If you can't believe anonymous library-goers, who can you trust?

Pumpkin Spice Latte  
Adapted from: Food Network Magazine Oct. 2014
Yield: 1 serving

1-1/2 Tbl. brown sugar
2 Tbl. canned 100% pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of ground nutmeg, plus an additional sprinkling for garnish
Pinch of table salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole, but can use 2%)
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
Whipped cream, for garnish

Whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a large microwave-safe coffee mug until smooth.

Whisk in milk and coffee (or espresso). Microwave at 100% power for 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk again, then microwave at 100% power an additional 30 seconds, or until steamy. Do not let boil.

Garnish with whipped cream and/or a sprinkling of nutmeg, if desired. Serve immediately.