Tis the season for warm beverages, so here’s a fun and creative twist to make them even better: homemade creamer.
There are so many coffee (or tea) creamers on the market now. They come in a myriad of flavors, often tweaked for the current holiday. Of course there’s pumpkin spice, or mocha, peppermint, hazelnut, almond… the list is lengthy.
If you look on the label, the vast majority contain a rather shocking number of ingredients. Most aren’t natural or particularly good for you. Since they’re manufactured in faraway locations, then shipped great distances before sitting a while on your local store shelf, they’re bound to have a lot of preservatives, artificial flavors and the like.
Turns out that making your own is not only a healthier alternative, it’s also fun, creative, and can be tweaked to your particular taste. It’s also cheaper than buying the commercial stuff.
That’s a win-win-win!
Of course homemade creamers can be added to coffee, tea (either black or green), or even hot cocoa to boost its luxuriousness. You can also add them into smoothies for a creamy flavor boost.
The fine foodie folks at MyRecipes.com recently shared the basics for making your own homemade creamer. It’s surprisingly fast and easy. A batch will last a couple weeks in a well-sealed container in your fridge.
The base recipe for your homemade creamer
Base (dairy and sweetened): Mix equal parts of sweetened condensed milk and another dairy option like cream or milk (whole, 2%, skim, half and half, almond or soy milk). Whisk or shake well to blend. A standard can of sweetened condensed milk is 14 ounces, which would equate to 1 ¾ cups of milk or cream.
If you’d like to cut sugar/calories and use a sugar substitute, you can easily make your own sweetened condensed milk for the base. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk two cups of whole milk with ¾ cup of your preferred sugar substitute. Bring it to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, stirring often, until it is thickened and reduced by about half. Remove from the heat. Stir in four tablespoons of butter, and mix well. Cool thoroughly, then following the above recipe for the creamer base.
Try these for different popular flavor combos:
French Vanilla – Add 2 teaspoons of good quality vanilla extract to the creamer base.
Amaretto – Add 2 teaspoons almond extract.
Swiss Almond Mocha – Add 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, and 2 teaspoons instant coffee.
Almond Joy – Add 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon coconut extract.
Milk Chocolate – Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup.
Dark Chocolate – Add 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
Peppermint Mocha – Add 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Pumpkin Spice – 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
Gingerbread – Combine 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice.
Cinnamon Coffeecake – Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Hazelnut – Add 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract.
Nutella – Add 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup.
Vanilla Chai – Combine 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon cardamom.
Raspberry Chocolate – Add 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup and 2 teaspoons cocoa powder.
NOTE: Add more or less of each flavor to taste, going up or down a teaspoon at a time.
General homemade creamer flavoring tips: if you are adding a thin liquid like extract, simply shake well with the creamer base.
If you’re adding thick ingredients like honey or maple syrup, or dry ingredients like spices, try this simple first step to prevent any graininess or separation. Just heat the flavorings with a little bit of the creamer base in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook till flavorings are dissolved. Allow to cool, then shake into the creamer base.
Try a batch of homemade creamer, for the perfect cup to sip overlooking the ocean, on the deck of one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals. Just give us a call at EP and we’ll book you in the perfect one.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger