Basic Kitchen Recipe: Homemade Coffee Creamer!

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Let’s face it,  my writing mission here has been subverted and usurped by the holiday chaos and deals.  Sure…sure…I enjoy a good deal as much as anyone, but I used to spend an equal amount of time writing about things that interest us AND good deals.  In that vein, I’ve been working behind the scenes here again…rearranging the main page, adding things and prepping for the 12 month series that is likely going to make a year look like it’s only 6 months long – given the snail’s pace I seem to use as a guide.  You know, the usual.

But getting  back on track, if only for a moment, I found something fabulous I want to share with you!

You already know there are a few things I really love and wouldn’t want to live without.  Ok, ok, if you can’t remember, one is Nivea Body Wash and one of the others?   Nescafe Stick Packs.  I know…surprise, I’ve been hooked by their crummy campaign.   I don’t use them all the time. BUT they’re so darn convenient. AND I’m so draggy in the morning that it’s a great mindless alternative to dealing with *real* coffee.   And yes because-I’m-sure-you’re-wondering, I actually pay for them.  That part is so dumb that it almost…ALMOST takes the wind from my sails…yet not.   Mostly because I refuse to think about it.

But this last one?  It is said with nary a smile.  This is serious business.  My creamer.  You know how I feel about my creamer.  Since we can’t have nuts in the house, I heart my fake hazelnut creamer. Yes, I’m partial to Coffee-mate, and that’s that.  Coupon or not.  Sale or not.  If I’m out, I’m out, and that’s that, too.

Well, I recently had a severe creamer crisis.  I didn’t have any, and the kids weren’t up yet….groan.  GROAN.  Now, this may seem overly dramatic and/or cliche, but let me tell you something –  It is not.  I don’t call my children tasmanian devils for nothing.  If I can’t start my day in silence with my coffee and my computer, well, I can’t be held responsible for my insanity.  I cannot drink my coffee without creamer. I may as well stay in bed if I’m forced to use milk.  Just forget it.  I’ll have visions of  becoming one of my children, tantruming on the floor, while they stand and watch ME.   Standing still being a first for them and all.   And as usual, I wouldn’t even get to enjoy it.  Typical AGAIN.

So for as much education as I’ve attained in my 38 years, you’d think I’d be somewhat adept at problem solving.  I’m not.  If you’ve been here 5 minutes, you know my theory about *Book Smart* vs. *Life Smart*.  The first giving  the best clue regarding its usefulness.  I’m smart about books.  Yep, that won’t help change a tire.  So, because I had sticks with no means to start a fire, I mentally moaned and groaned that I was out of creamer.  What was I going to do???  I didn’t want to wake up the loons.  I mean, they hadn’t had enough sleep and…I didn’t get past that point.

More shuffling…moaning…and then…LIGHT BULB.  I’ve got it!  My husband!  Surely he’ll drop everything he’s doing at work to get me some creamer.  *Ring…ring*  A syrupy “Hiiiiii, I was just calling to say hiiiiiii.”, poured out next.    He was onto my game…and he was busy.  Oh-kay, surely not.  “Nice try, babe.” was all I got.  Oh, and an, “I love you.”

Ohhh-kay….desperation was setting in.  Hey, here’s a novel idea!  What if I try to make some myself!?! I figured I’d separated all kinds of substances in Chem Labs past.  SURELY I can concoct something as intimidating as creamer.  After all, I was under immense pressure to perform in the harshest possible circumstances.  It was just shy of 7am and I was fully decaf.

And so it began….my quest for the perfect faux liquid creamer.  After scouring the internet, and trying out several recipes in the last 3 weeks, this is what worked best for me.  And as usual, it’s the easiest, but certainly not the first one I tried.  Nope, THAT would be too easy.  😉  Well, you’ll recall I was under pressure, and we are talking about ME.

Creamer Substitute Recipe
1 can Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 12oz can Evaporated Milk

Yep, that’s it.  Dumb squared.  Enter Blendy Blenderson and you’re done.  Refrigerate, and it will keep for 10 days.

For flavoring, you can use any extract you have on hand and the amount you’ll need use is completely up to your taste.  Since we had a bunch of Torani coupons a few months ago, I picked up some Almond Roca, Irish Cream and Vanilla.  FYI: The Hazelnut contains peanut oil, so that was a no go.  Nevertheless, I have artificial hazelnut extract on hand for baking, so my problem was easily remedied.    Surprisingly, this turned out remarkably well and I was thrilled with it.

Oh, and here’s a fab tip.  You can also heat the creamer mixture and melt 1/4 cup of semi sweet chips and add some peppermint extract (or syrup).  Whisk while it’s melting for a really nice treat.  That variation worked very well.

As a cost comparison, I’ve only paid for the Torani Syrup and extracts.  Torani being around $4 ish at Walmart.  Of course, I rolled my Register Rewards into Condensed & Evaporated Milk and other baking supplies ALL November and December at Walgreens.  Given the small amount of syrup used, this is far more cost efficient than bottled creamer.

Tips:

If you don’t have evaporated milk, you can use regular milk, half & half or (gulp) heavy cream, but be mindful of the expiration date.  If you don’t use creamer quickly in your house, you may get an unexpected surprise. Gack!

What I like best about this recipe over others is that you can use low fat or fat free sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk to make fat free creamer.  Perfect.

Also, I have tried several homemade flavorings, but all fell short for me.    You may love them (my friends do!), so give ’em a try!

All starting amounts are one teaspoon unless otherwise noted.

Chocolate Almond
Almond Extract (artificial in my case)
Cocoa Powder (1 tbl)

Honey Vanilla
Honey
Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Mint
Cocoa Powder (1 tbl)
Peppermint Extract

Amaretto 
Almond Extract
Ground Cinnamon

Gingerbread (equal parts)
Ginger
Cinnamon
Allspice
Nutmeg
Cloves

Eggnog
Vanilla Extract
Rum Extract (2 tsp)
Nutmeg

So, have you made your own creamer?  If so, what do you use for flavoring?

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