Monday, March 17, 2014

DIY "French" Vanilla Coffee Creamer (GF)


I love to have a cup of coffee most mornings... well, actually, it’s more like a cafe au lait (half milk, half brewed coffee), but who’s really keeping track.  I’m somewhat of a morning person, so I honestly don’t drink the coffee for the caffeine. I prefer to drink my coffee simply for the ritual of it.


Not much of my day-to-day life has structure anymore. I can set my own schedule, do my own things, which is both good and bad depending on the day. Even our mealtimes vary greatly from day to day (contingent on husband’s work schedule).


There’s something so special about the morning coffee ritual.  I warm my mug, half filled with milk, then add the hot coffee. Speaking of coffee, my in-laws gifted us some of this coffeein early 2013 and we’re completely hooked now....  It’s become one of our few grocery budget splurges.


But now comes the shameful confession portion.  Even though we drink relatively “fancy” coffee, and even though I’ve worked as a barista, I still have a guilty pleasure when it comes to coffee at home: french vanilla coffee creamer.  Yes, I’m cringing even as I write those words.


Not only do I hate the stigma of a french vanilla coffee creamer consumer (I have visions of gas station cappuccino, which is *another* occasional guilty pleasure of mine), but I know that creamer isn’t good for me.... Though I do feel somewhat better knowing that we’re not drinking the fat free or sugar free versions, even the regular coffee creamer is full of chemicals and unnatural ingredients.


Even more shameful is that I do not just add the faux creamer to my daily coffee, but I also became addicted to adding a splash to bowls of gluten free Rice Chex. YIKES! I’ve got to stop this cycle soon....  Before it gets any worse!


Luckily, Food52 posted a recipe for homemade coffee creamer. Why did I never think of making my own before now?!? It may not taste *exactly* like my favorite french vanilla store-bought variety, but I like that I can adjust the flavoring & sweetness to my own likings. And it’s free from chemicals & weird ingredients :)


Homemade “French” Vanilla Coffee Creamer (GF)
Adapted from Food52

When I worked as a barista, I was taught to make “french” vanilla beverages by adding a little bit of hazelnut syrup along with some regular vanilla syrup  but I have been unable to find any concrete information to back up that practice? Most sources simply say that “french” vanilla should taste more “custard-y.” So, I’m adding a little maple syrup to mimic that “custard-y” flavor found in store bought french vanilla coffee creamer.

1/2 c Milk
1/2 c Heavy Cream
1.75 oz / 1/4 c Granulated Sugar
1 Tbl real maple syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

  1. Add the milk, cream, and granulated sugar to a small stainless steel sauce pan. Bring to a simmer on medium high heat, stirring constantly. 
  2. Reduce the heat to low & continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar completely dissolves, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla bean paste. 
  4. Cool the creamer completely, using an ice bath, before pouring it into a vessel (with a lid) for refrigeration. I like to use an old coffee creamer bottle. 
  5. Shake well before use. Creamer will keep, stored properly, for approximately 2 weeks. 
Notes: 

  • If you prefer to use an actual vanilla bean in lieu of the vanilla bean paste, add the seeds from half a vanilla bean to the sugar & mix well with your fingers to infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar granules.  Add the sugar to the milk & cream and continue as directed above. Good vanilla extract may also be used, however, it will not have as strong a vanilla flavor. 
  • To make a dairy free version, try substituting a nut milk or coconut milk for the milk & heavy cream.  
  • Add other spices or flavorings if you like.  The dairy could be infused with other items like herbs. Or reduce the sugar, if you prefer a less sweet creamer. 
  • Recipe easily doubles, if you go through copious amounts of coffee creamer :) The stove top cooking process just may take a little longer. 
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1 comment:

  1. French vanilla coffee creamer is palatable. Thanks for post

    ReplyDelete