I’ve been on a vanilla kick this week, having bottled up a batch of homemade vanilla and started a new batch before dehydrating the used vanilla beans to make vanilla sugar. But in case you’ve never made vanilla sugar before and you’re not sure what to do with it, I thought I’d share some ideas.
One really great use of vanilla sugar is to simply put it in your coffee. Particularly if your budget limits you to less-than-ideal brands of java, a little vanilla flavor goes a long way to improve the morning cup’o’joe. Or if you’re like me in the winter, the all-day-half-caff-cup-o-joe.
But in the summertime I often like to beat the heat and the infamous Midwest humidity with iced coffee, and I save a ton of money by making it at home rather than getting it at a Fivebucks coffee place. Want to make your own vanilla sugar laced, cool & creamy coffee confection?
Vanilla-Mocha Iced Coffee on a Budget
- Strong brewed coffee, chilled (Brew it with at least half again as many grounds as you use for your regular coffee.)
- Your milk product of choice (I prefer half & half, am okay with skim, and use sweetened condensed when I’m being very bad.)
- A teaspoon or two of vanilla sugar, to taste (I have a major sweet tooth but I skip the sugar when I’m using sweetened condensed milk.)
- A “squirt” of chocolate syrup (Not elegant, but I use the cheap stuff. Or you can make your own.)
- Ice (Hard to make iced coffee without it!)
- Whipped cream (optional)
- A pint jar with a lid (Or whatever size, because a lot of this is to taste, anyway.)
- a straw (also optional, but more fun if you have it)
What to do:
Fill the bottom quarter or so of your jar with ice.
Add your milk (half & half, whatever) to just cover the ice. Add sugar to taste (you can always add more but it’s hard to take it out!) and a generous squirt of chocolate syrup.
Fill the jar almost (but not quite!) to the top with strong coffee. Add the lid, hold it on, move over the sink, and shake it up. You’ll get a little froth going, which is fun.
Open the jar and pour your iced coffee into your drinking glass. Add whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup if you want to be fancy. Or do what I often do and just stick a straw in the jar, skip the whip, and enjoy!
I’ll often brew a strong pot of coffee (or half caff) in the morning, have my morning cup with a little extra milk so it’s not stand-a-spoon-in-it strong, and set the rest aside to cool. Later I’ll transfer the cooler coffee to a different container and stick it in the fridge to chill. Then in the afternoon when it gets miserable outside I’ll make myself an iced coffee to cool off.
And you can do this with plain sugar instead of vanilla sugar, but vanilla is more fun!
Do you like iced coffee? Do you like half caff?
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Update: This post was linked to the Five Star Frugal #14 Linky Party at A Tray of Bliss.