My husband is a lover of coffee and along with this love comes a love of coffee creamer. I was never thrilled about buying coffee creamer since it would probably be better for him to just melt down a straw, but I hadn’t really thought much about an alternative until three years ago when I began making him flavored syrups. It worked out well, but I knew it was simply the poor man’s creamer. Then a few months ago I found a recipe on Pinterest for French vanilla coffee creamer. I tried it and it was good – not fantastic, just good – but it did get my mind percolating. I started making cinnamon amaretto creamer, vanilla creamer, hazelnut creamer, and even cardamom creamer. I fear no spice.
His favorite creamer at home has always been hazelnut, but when at Starbucks it must be a hot Caramel Macchiato. This past Saturday after a weekly ritual of a mother-daughter walk to Starbucks, I got to thinking that I could totally give him the taste of his favorite coffee house treat at home but it had to be in creamer form since his signature, excuse me, only dish is coffee. So, I perused a few caramel recipes, both for sauce and candies to refresh my memory and got started. When he tasted the finished product with no preconceived notions of what it could be, his eyes bugged and begged for an explanation.
Caramel Coffee Creamer
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups half & half
1 cup milk
- In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar and water to a rolling boil for 7-10 minutes. Do not stir once it’s started boiling. There is more than enough water in there that the sugar will not burn, but you want to boil this down to cook that sugar. That’s the source of the caramel flavor.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Store creamer in the refrigerator and use within two weeks. (This recipe fits perfectly in a large commercial creamer bottle.)
The photograph was a café au lait I made with this creamer and it was the specific drink that bugged my husband’s eyes. A café au lait, for those unaware, is like a latte except coffee is used instead of espresso. I heated ¾ cup of creamer and used my cheap little IKEA frother to – any guesses? – make it frothy. I then added the frothy creamer to a cup half filled with strong coffee. (If you pour the creamer into the coffee with a bit of gusto, the coffee and milk will mix on their own. You can then gently top it with the denser frothy creamer. No spoon necessary.)
* I give one disclaimer. It makes a very sweet café au lait.
From my little corner of the world, thanks for reading and happy eating.
Caffeter, the Milkmaid