Domesticity Nouveau

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How Sweet It Is!!!

For those of us lucky enough to have received espresso makers for Christmas (Thanks, Sis!) you might find yourself in a euphoria of bliss from the money you are able to keep in your pocket instead of the coffee shop's till.... or it might just be the caffeine and sugar high. Either way, if there is a way to somehow put a homemade twist on this experience, you know I would find it.

It's not practical to grow, process and roast my own coffee, nor would that provide any instant gratification. I don't have a cow (yet), so the discussion regarding the benefits and blessings of fresh milk will have to wait. That leaves the flavored syrups. A quick tour of the grocer's coffee aisle left me a little disappointed by both the high fructose corn syrup or artificial chemical sweeteners in the list of ingredients and the cost of over $5 a bottle for flavored sugar water. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I decided to make my own!

This has to be one of the simplest (and quickest!) things that even the most domestically challenged individual can make. I have always had a bottle of Mapleline on hand so I could make maple flavored syrup in a pinch, you know, for those 2 a.m. pancake emergencies. I figured it couldn't be any different to make other flavors of syrup for fancy schmancy coffees. A quick tour of my cupboard revealed peppermint, almond, and vanilla extracts. A quick tour of the internet revealed recipes for chocolate syrup. A few minutes in the kitchen and I had my own specialty coffee syrups for less than the cost of one bottle of fancy syrup.

Basic Recipe
2 parts sugar (white or brown)
1 part water

Stir sugar and water together in a saucepan over high heat until sugar dissolves completely and mixture becomes clear. Boil one minute and remove from heat. Allow to cool for a minute or two and stir in flavoring. Pour into a container and close with lid. This does not need to be refrigerated.

The recipes below each make approximately 8 oz of syrup:

Vanilla Syrup
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peppermint Syrup
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp peppermint extract

Amaretto Syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp almond extract

Maple Flavored Pancake Syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp mapleline flavoring

I think you get the idea now. For a flavor I haven't listed, start with about 1/2 tsp extract and work your way up until you get the desired strength. I'm trying coconut next so I can make an almond joy mocha!

Chocolate Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a dry saucepan, mix sugar and cocoa powder until combined. Add salt and water. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour into container and close with lid. Store in the refrigerator.

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