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OSK – Iced Caramel Macchiato

Most-used appliance in The Other Such Kitchen?


Second most-used appliance?

Mr. Coffee, the friendly little fella who brews my daily espresso.

Everyone wave hello to Mr. Coffee!! Better yet: blow him a kiss!

Today I bestow upon you this gift: the recipe for the OSK iced caramel macchiato, the primary fuel that keeps the Other Such engines truckin’. (Excuse me for a minute while I get completely distracted by what the punctuation rule is for that whole ” n’. ” situation back there. It’s confounding. The kind of thing that almost makes me want to forget the colloquialisticness, slap the ‘g’ on the end, and forget about it. Except that this day started with a 5:30 a.m. bootcamp and I’m feeling a little wound-up and rebellious. So ” n’. ” it is.)

I’m not a straight-coffee drinker. I need a little sweetness. And ice. And a great big WAKE UP, IT’S TIME TO CONQUER THE WORLD . . . or bar exam, or motherhood, or the post-vacay mountain of laundry. This has been my go-to for over 8 years now. It’s seen me through a lot of research and long-long office hours and spit-up and laundry. ICM + OSS = 4ever.


The lineup.

Caramel sauce, vanilla syrup, espresso, milk (not pictured: ice).

I opt for the sugar-free add-ins and fat-free milk, but hey, if you want it fully loaded you just go wherever your taste buds lead you.

One tablespoon of caramel, drizzled in the bottom of the cup into which I’m going to brew the espresso. (I once was a drizzle-the-caramel-on-the-top-of-the-completed-beverage purist; now I’m a get-the-caramel-melted-in-the-hot-espresso girl. People change. Sometimes.)

Three tablespoons of espresso.

(Once upon a time, after the death of the first espresso machine and before Mr. Coffee came to live with me, I brewed the espresso in a regular coffee pot. I cannot remember how much I used, only that it worked. Also, I was very alert during that period of time, so it’s entirely possible that I used too much espresso. I tell you this so that you do not feel deterred by the lack of an espresso machine. And also so that if you use a coffee pot and end up erring on the side of too much espresso and are reallyย really awake I can say that I warned you. And that you’re welcome. Now: GO CONQUER THINGS!)

While the espresso is brewing I get the cold parts ready: two tablespoons of vanilla syrup, half a cup of milk, and roughly a cup of ice.

I’m so serious about my ICMs that a while back I had to invest in one of the Starbucks insulated cups. To keep the I in the ICM. And because the lid screws on, decreasing the chances of ICM-related tragedy. And because it feels fancier, psychologically, out of this cup. I like a side of fancy with my WAKE UP.

Now, here’s the thing about the amount of espresso involved: I might be overdoing it. See this:

That’s a full cup of espresso (over the caramel), roughly 9 ounces (or 9 “shots” in barista parlance). By comparison, the Starbucks ICM has 3 shots of espresso in it (well, 4 once I ask for an extra shot). And yet, my version does not taste twice as strong as the retail version or leave me feeling jittery, so I have to figure that either the commercial machines have super-powerful caffeine-squeezing-out capabilities or their espresso is stronger or the more water I brew through mine, the weaker it gets orย something. Point: you might maybe want to use less espresso and add more milk instead. Or maybe not.

I feel like I’m adding a lot of caffeination warnings in here. I just don’t want your heart to leap outside of your body and start running laps around you. It’s one thing if I singe all the hair off your tongue with the over-jalapenoization of most of the recipes in the OSK, quite another if your family discovers you laid out on the floor while your heart dances an Irish jig beside you.

After stirring the caramel up in the warm espresso, I pour it over the ice, lock the lid, and commence making a list of the things I’m going to do as COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE UNIVERSE. (Don’t worry! There’s a place for you in my cabinet. However, I should warn you: the title of Her Royal Highness, The Empress of Subtlety has already been filled.)

That picture is crooked. I could have Photoshopped it straight. But I just didn’t care. Instead, I had these very important math calculations to run:

Starbucks Skinny ICM with an extra shot: $5.57 (and roughly 6 WW points for the Venti size).

OSK ICM: $1.32 (and 2 WW points for the Venti size, 1 from the sugar-free caramel, 1 from the nonfat milk).

That’s right–I calculated the per-ounce/tablespoon/half-cup cost of each ingredient. (Okay, well, not the ice. But the others.)

Because I have a fundamental need to know exactly how much I am saving The Husband every time I opt to make this beverage at home instead of splurging on the Starbucks version. (Related: I have a fundamental need to tell The Husband exactly how much I am saving him.) Answer? $4.25.

And let’s just say that I only (only!) make 6 of these a week all year long–that amounts to 312 OSK-ICMs.

That’s $1,326 saved. Right there. And that doesn’t even take into consideration when one of the ingredients is on sale or I have a coupon. (Hellllloooooo college fund!)

Imagine how much I could save him if I quit slacking, really dedicated myself, and made 7 a week! Or 8! Or 10!!

Or . . . huh. That could just be the caffeine talking.

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