I live about 7 miles from the nearest store. Not that far, I know, but when I only need one thing it’s impossible to motivate myself to make the half-hour round trip drive. I’d rather spend that thirty minutes in the kitchen trying to make an acceptable substitute for whatever it was I thought I needed. This time, it was coffee syrup.
I try to confine myself to two cups of coffee in the morning. Most days I stick to it, but sometimes I cheat my own system. Rather than having a third cup of hot coffee, I switch to iced instant espresso. I know, it’s really no different, but I feel a little less like I’ve fallen off the wagon because it’s in a different cup.
Last week, on a particularly tiring day, I was headed for that third cup of denial when I realized we were out of both caramel and vanilla coffee syrup. How does that happen and I don’t notice? Anyway, I did a quick search for a caramel syrup recipe, but every one I found listed caramel sauce as an ingredient. Huh?
I decided to aim for a caramel flavor on my own, so I whipped up this syrup. And I wouldn’t really say it tastes like caramel, but it is oh-so delicious.
To make this, you’ll need:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine the water, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently but gently, until the mixture just starts to come to a boil and all of the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool, then pour into a bottle. Add a tag or label and this would make a great gift.
This would also be tasty with some other spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. I think I would try brewing them in the water (the way the Chai Tea Concentrate is made), then using that water to make the syrup.
In case you’re wondering, the way I make my iced espresso is I fill the 20 ounce glass half full of water, add about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered espresso, fill to about 3/4 with coconut almond milk, sweeten to taste with the syrup, then finish filling the glass with ice. Zero drive time.
Speaking of my glass, these are in my Zibbet shop now, along with that stainless steel straw, which I completely love and is available straight or with that little bend at the top. Also, that coaster? It’s made from leather and a mason jar ring and you’ll find those in my shop as well. I haven’t listed the wraps yet, but if you’re interested just let me know. It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here!