I was browsing around the net researching something when I came across this interesting tip on Chow.com  for making flavored coffee cream:
Not a cocktail, but if you like creamer:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
Heat in a saucepan stirring constantly until it start to steam. Add 1 vanilla bean and the innards from it (scraped), or 2 tsp vanilla extract. Let it cool, the pour it through a fine mesh sieve.
You now have creamer that will knock your freakin’ socks off. 🙂
So of course I had to try it ;). I made a batch and split it into three equal parts to try different flavorings. Instead of using a vanilla bean, I just used vanilla extract. The other two I tried were Pumpkin Pie Spice and Almond Extract…and they were delicious! You’ll find my test recipes and results below…
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk (I just used 2% and it was fine)
1/3 cup maple syrup
Heat as instructed and stir constantly so the milk doesn’t scorch. Once the mixture is steaming hot, pour evenly into three glass canning jars (250 ml jars were just right, had a decent amount of head space to shake) and then add flavorings.
- Vanilla: add 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (I wanted a stronger flavor so I used more per batch than the advice given above)
- Pumpkin Pie: add 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Almond: add 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
Stir well then fit lids on jars loosely. Once it cools enough that you are able to hold the jars, tighten the lids and shake well. Let the jars sit at room temperature and shake occasionally. When the cream is no longer warm, shake well again and refrigerate. I left these in the fridge overnight before trying them in my coffee, I don’t know if it matters but I thought I’d give the flavors some time to work their magic. Shake well before using.
- The pumpkin pie creamer made a really fragrant cup but the spices did settle in the bottom of the mug while I was drinking it, this didn’t bother me but you can strain first if you prefer (wait until cooled before straining).
- Since I was just using extracts and didn’t want a big batch of one single flavor until I figured out what I liked, I decided to add the flavorings after the milk had steamed. You do want the cream to be hot so the extracts and spices will infuse their flavors more fully.
- Adjust the amount of flavorings to your preference (stronger or weaker) and try mixing and matching (ie. vanilla and almond together).
- This should keep in the refrigerator just fine for at least a week or so.
While I was whipping up batches of creamer, I decided to try the flavored syrup recipe I bookmarked quite awhile ago and found here: slashfood.com . The idea is to make a simple syrup with sugar and water and then add flavorings. Pour a bit into the mug, add your cream and then top with hot coffee.
The recipe I used:
2 cups sugar (white or brown, I tried both)
2 cups water
Bring to a boil and cook at a slow boil for about 10 minutes or so, stirring often (I wanted the syrup to be a little thicker and less runny). Remove from heat, pour evenly into three 250 ml canning jars and then add flavorings. I tried:
- Cinnamon: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Chocolate Mint: 1 tablespoon cocoa, 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
- Orange Chocolate: 1 tablespoon cocoa, 1 tablespoon orange extract
- Vanilla: 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Stir well and top jars loosely with lids. Once the jars have cooled enough to handle, tighten lids and shake. Leave at room temperature and continue shaking jars off and on and once they’ve cooled, refrigerate.
Directions for use: Pour a little syrup into the mug, add regular cream (if desired) and then top off with hot coffee. Stir well and enjoy!
- Yowza! The flavors were really concentrated in this batch, I first tried 1 tablespoon of syrup for a large cup of coffee (holds two cups) and the flavor and fragrance were strong! Too strong for my tastes so 1/2 tablespoon per 2 cup mug was my next attempt and it was great.
- I don’t normally add sugar to my coffee so if a small amount of syrup isn’t sweet enough for you, cut back on the amount of extract used when making it (then increase amount of syrup used in coffee) or try adding sugar to your coffee along with the syrup.
- For the cocoa recipes, the chocolate flavor wasn’t as pronounced as the extract flavor…next time I’m going to try using the same amount of cocoa but only half the amount of extract to see if that helps.
- Glass canning jars are a good choice since the syrup mixture is HOT, you want something that can withstand the heat and not shatter.
- This will seriously burn you if you spill it on yourself when pouring, please be careful.
- When using powdered cocoa or ground spices, you’ll want to shake, shake and shake some more while this is still hot/warm so it will fully dissolve. I found it pretty clumpy until after the third or fourth shake and then it was fine.
- These will keep nicely in the fridge for a few weeks.
Choosing Between The Two
The syrups were really pronounced in flavor with a little going a long way, and they have a longer shelf life so they’re my pick. Super cheap and easy to make too!
Beans & Grounds:
It’s easy to add flavor to whole coffee beans or grounds. You can do a whole can or bag at a time or in smaller batches of 2 or 3 pots worth instead. This method is less messy and the flavor is lighter and more subtle though the longer it’s stored, the stronger it will be.
For flavoring, try adding:
- A vanilla bean or two to container of coffee and seal for a few days before using.
- Lightly sprinkle a few drops of your favorite extracts or combinations of them over the coffee, stir well, add a few more drops, stir and then seal and refrigerate (use glass containers for this rather than plastic).
- Add a cinnamon stick or two to container (you can also sprinkle a little ground cinnamon over coffee before brewing).
- Adding dried citrus peels (such as oranges) to a container of beans or grounds will give a light scent and flavor to them.