We love flavored creamers (like International Delight or Coffee Mate) because they are amazingly easy. In this modern, fast-paced world in where Keurig brewers trump standard drip brewers in sales and popularity — because they cut down coffee prep time to a matter of seconds — taking the time to garnish your cup of joe with milk, sugar, and flavorings just seems too time consuming. After all, there are steps — like, more than one: first you have to pour sugar in your cup of joe, stir, take the cream or milk out of the fridge and adding it to your coffee, stirring again, and adding flavoring if you are into that sort of thing.
Store bought creamers are delicious, but packed with sketchy ingredients and high in calories and cost. I like to save money by cooking my lunches for the week on Sunday afternoons. After realizing that I can make my own coffee creamer, too, and that this stuff is actually much more delicious than the store-bought oil-based creamers, this recipe has hit my weekly prep list. You can spice it up by adding whatever flavors you like — making you an instant coffee creamer artist! In case you lack inspiration, I have experimented with a few recipes myself and have formulated my favorites, as follows.
Here is the basic recipe, I call it “sweet cream”:
- 1 ¾ cup half and half or whole milk (the fattier the base dairy used, the creamer the end product will be)
- 1 – 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Combine ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk ingredients together continuously until combined. Turn burner to low/simmer when steam begins to rise off of the milk. Continue to stir until cream appears to have thickened, then turn off the burner and add your flavorings.
Vanilla: Follow above recipe but add a quarter to one-half teaspoon of vanilla bean paste to the saucepan after turning off the heat. Stir to combine well. You can substitute for pure vanilla extract if you must, but vanilla bean paste imparts a very genuine flavor with real vanilla bean specks you can see!
Brownie Bite: After turning off the heat, add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup. Stir to mix well. You can use milk chocolate cocoa powder or dark chocolate cocoa powder for a more bitter, intense flavor.
Vermont Maple/Cinnamon: Decrease your use of sweetened condensed milk from one 14 oz. can to one half of one 14 oz. can (7 oz.). Add two tablespoons of real maple syrup before heating the mixture. After cream is reduced and taken off heat, add 2-3 dashes of cinnamon and whisk well.
Coconut Caramel: Decrease your use of sweetened condensed milk from 14 oz. to 12 oz. After heating sweet cream, add 1 tablespoon of Coconut Cream Concentrate and 1 tablespoon of caramel syrup (the kind you use on ice cream). Stir to mix well.
Oatmeal Cookie: Okay, I saved the best for last. I really love oatmeal, and the use of instant oatmeal in this recipe will actually help to thicken the cream. Here’s one you won’t find in grocery stores. After reducing the heat from medium to low, add one half packet of raisin date walnut instant oatmeal. Stir to mix well and remove from heat. Strain the liquid, separating any solids from the cream, using a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Be patient and make sure the liquid is strained well before consuming.