I had the idea awhile back that when I was in control of my own groceries and had a home where I woke up every morning and made and drank my own coffee I wanted to try to make some sort of vanilla-y milk for it.

I LOVE French vanilla creamer, but "creamer" freaks me out a little bit. I don't really know what I'm drinking, and probably don't really WANT to know. But I've had to admit to myself that sugar and half and half don't quite make the creamy, sweet cup of coffee that creamer does and that I love. I was planning to try just swirling some vanilla extract into some half and half and seeing how it did, but I thought better of it and headed to the internet.

A quick google search for "how to make vanilla creamer" turned up beaucoup de results. Apparently I am not the first to have this idea! I went with this recipe from eHow.

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Here are the ingredients. Simple enough, right?! (Side note: this picture could just about be an ad for Target's Market Pantry brand, eh?)

The sweetened condensed milk was delightfully goopy as I poured it into the container. eHow instructs one to "Scrape the can with a rubber spatula to get out all of that precious, sweet, sticky stuff that will make your coffee sooo much better." Ooookay.
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When I added the milk (I chose to use 2%, for some semblance of healthfulness), it kind of just sat on top of the sweetened condensed milk goop.
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So then you're supposed to shake it. (It's important to have a container with a tight-fitting lid.) I look retarded in the pictures where I am shaking the container, so I'll just leave this step to your imagination.

When I was finished, I stuck it in the fridge until this morning! I couldn't wait to get up and have my cup of coffee.

The verdict? It didn't make the coffee as sweet as store-bought creamer, which is some of what I was looking for, and I think it could use more vanilla (even though while making it I thought a tablespoon sounded like a ridiculously large amount). However, in my second cup of coffee, I added a packet of Splenda, and that did the trick. Plus, adding some more vanilla would be easy enough. Overall, I think this is pretty tasty, but maybe not exactly a substitute for the Coffee Mate stuff. I'll definitely finish out my container, though!

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman