Apr 9, 2012

Homemade Coffee Creamer

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You know what drives the husband nuts? “Lady coffee”–that is to say, any coffee that has a creamy look and is flavored. He fears it, this lady coffee. It’s like he thinks it will make him grow a uterus or something. Anyway, he can smell that such a coffee beverage has been created in our kitchen before he even enters the house and his disdain while walking in the door is loud and extremely negative, cursing and shouting, “Ack!! LADY COFFEE!!”, as though he’s discovered something unsavory on the sole of his shoe. It’s all quite dramatic.

Unfortunately for him, I happen to looove lady coffee. For a while, the only thing that kept me from always making lady coffee (besides the Man Whining about it) was the high price and somewhat questionable ingredients in the flavored coffee creamers from the supermarket. It’s almost kind of amusing to learn that most store-bought coffee creamers don’t actually contain any milk or cream, plus there’s lots of other stuff in there I can’t quite pronounce. But recently I learned that I could make my own fabulous flavored coffee creamer for a fraction of the cost with a much simpler ingredients list, and it is awesome.

Basically, it’s just sweetened condensed milk (which contains only milk and sugar, by the by), milk (or half-and-half or heavy cream, depending on how rich you like your lady coffee), and whatever flavorings you like. So let’s get to it. What kind of lady are you?

Spicy and sweet? Hot! Just throw in some cinnamon (ground or a whole stick), ginger (fresh or ground), nutmeg—any combination of spices that you like. Just be sure to add them when the milk is hot and give them time to steep along with the vanilla bean.

A chocoholic kind of lady? Get it, girl! a few tablespoons of high-quality cocoa powder in the mix for a mocha creamer is simply divine.

Like to mix things up when you place your latte order with all those wacky syrups? An artsy lady–I love it! Try extracts like peppermint or almond, added to taste right before straining. You could also add a dash of flavored syrup in whatever flavor you like to the creamer as well.

But for me, I’m a Classic Lady, and a sucker for vanilla-flavored coffees of all sorts. I make mine with a heady, sweet whole vanilla bean and call it done. And I’ve got lady coffee at the ready for weeks! Sorry, honey.

Homemade Coffee Creamer

Makes about 3 cups

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream

1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Set the pot over medium heat and slowly heat the mixture until it is hot and steaming, but not simmering. Cover the pot and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

29 Comments

  • I love making my own coffee creamer! Sometimes I am too lazy and still buy it but your post has inspired me – I will make some tonight!

  • I think I might like your husband. Coffee should be strong and black!

    My wife doesn’t agree, and she uses these so called creamers with the un-pronoucable ingredients (described here if anyone is interested – Cream in My Coffee). Your recipe looks so much more wholesome. I think I’ll try and make some for her.

    Thanks.

  • I’ve been wanting to make coffee creamer – this looks like a great recipe! And I love that he freaks out about “lady coffee” – how funny! At least that’s how you can claim your cup :)

  • That creamer looks beyond fabulous.

    My husband drinks his coffee black. No sugar, no nothing. And when he orders coffee at a restaurant and they bring him a small bowl of creamer, he pushes it away like it’s a grenade. Ridiculous.

    • What is wrong with them?

  • My husband is the same way! What is wrong with these men?
    I need to totally make this creamer, but I am a little scared I might drink it without the coffee…I mean seriously, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla beans and cream? I could take a swim in that stuff!

    • It’s an epidemic!

  • Well, I’m glad my husband’s not the only one with an aversion to anything in his coffee. I guess cream and sugar isn’t manly.

  • I’m partial to lady coffee too. I love that name for it! :)

  • What a great idea! I’m always running low on coffee creamer and this is the perfect way to forget about buying coffee creamer for a week! :)

  • Home made coffee creamer?

    Tell me, did it hurt much? When you fell to earth, I mean.

    xo

  • Sounds yummy! I’ve had this powdered creamer recipe bookmarked for a while: http://www.food.com/recipe/cinnamon-vanilla-coffee-creamer-136114

    I like that it lasts a little longer, but your recipe sounds so much more comforting and tasty!

    Thanks.

  • Can you dream up a recipe for white chocolate raspberry for me? :))

    • Hmmm…my best guess would be to use cream or half and half, and then melt a handful of white bar chocolate into it, but just a little–you wouldn’t want it to turn into a ganache (bar chocolate melts a lot smoother than chips, which have stabilizers). For the raspberry flavor, you could add a few drops of raspberry extract, which I’ve found by the vanilla in the supermarket. If you try it, let me know what happens!

  • Thank you! I’m going to try to make some today…I’ll let you know :)

  • OH, so good! If anyone wants to try, I used: one pint of heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, 1 12oz pkg of white chocolate chips and 2-3 teaspoons raspberry flavoring. It’s beautiful and very tasty! Thank you!!

    • Dang, girl! Barb bringing the JAM, people. Way to go!

  • LOL! Shauna, you were the inspiration!

  • Now THIS idea – I love! I always question what the heck is in those creamers in the store so I will definitely put this recipe on my kitchen experiments list.

  • I’d so love to make a homemade hazelnut coffee creamer! Any ideas?

  • Drinking some right now and loving it! This is the best! Thank you!

  • Half and half and vanilla, this is one really nice coffee creamer. Plus, the preparation is just too simple. Great work!

  • Just wondering why you need to steep the mixture is this just to impart the flavor? Could you just mix the half & half and condensed milk without heating if you are not trying to make flavored creamer?

  • Hi Shauna.
    I live in Singapore and we only have a limited coffee cremer in the store. And they are yucky.
    I am looking for a Baileys Coffee Cremer non-alcohol.
    How and what would you suggest I put in your cremer recipe to come close to Baileys or a good substitute?

    Thank you.
    Jacqui

  • Your post totally made me laugh!!

    I’m looking for a white chocolate coffee creamer and Google brought me here. We can’t get the Coffee Mate White Chocolate in Canada. That so sucks and I LOVE White Choc. I am going to need to give this homemade option a shot!! Thank you!

    • I’m so glad! Let me know how it turns out.

  • This sounds wonderful!! But I have a quick question, can you use vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean? And if so, how much should you use??

    • About 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract should do it!

  • I just found this site and I think the homemade idea is great! I love the seasonal creamers, and the white chocolate raspberry was my favorite (but I like the pumpkin pie spice, too). I’m going to try your idea with the raspberry extract and white chocolate. By the way, I have put the pumpkin pie spices in the basket with the coffee when I brew it and it comes out yummy! I am going to bookmark this page! Thanks so much for your ideas!

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