Join me in trying Jill Winger’s recipe for Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer from her cookbook, The Prairie Homestead.
It is three in the afternoon. Naptime is waning, and I want something little to put a pep in my step. Not just the caffeine jolt, but that comforting “doing good things for myself” treat to push me toward the day’s end. Coffee – coffee is the mom’s ultimate treat. I’ll have it black, over ice, with just a splash of milk and maple syrup. I’d also love it a little fancier, a little more intentional, a little more indulgent. You know, just for those days when its gray and you’ve had to fold one too many loads of laundry.
So, I’m on the hunt for the best homemade coffee creamers a girl can make. I’ve glossed over Jill’s recipe time and again, but today, this is what I need tucked in the back of the fridge waiting for me. If you haven’t peeked at her cookbook yet, (you can read more about it HERE) you’ll understand why I am starting my hunt here. I’m laying down parameters.
Why are ingredients important?
Jill’s cookbook, and much of her presence on the internet, is about laying a foundation of nutritions eating. Her ideals are strong – homegrown & homemade. I understand her sentiments. The speed of the modern world and necessary factors in food preservation and production has changed how we eat. Crackers are not flour, sugar, salt and cheddar. Commercial egg care is a lot different than how we imagine. But these are the elements making up our diets.
In my mind, good methods for growing and preserving make quality products. Quality products make nourishing meals. Nourishing meals provide the body with the means to grow and heal as needed.
If I’m going to splurge on a salted caramel ice coffee midday, I want to make sure I’m giving my body a treat, not a tax. I like high quality or locally procured cream for easy digestion and a source of satiating fat. I prefer natural sweeteners, especially maple syrup, to prevent blood sugar spikes. Together, they make a guilty pleasure far from guilt ridden. To hear more of Jill’s insights about good ingredients, check out her podcast episode HERE.
½ cup Water
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Heavy Cream
¾ cup whole milk – if you’re in north Texas, we enjoy Volleman’s milk products when local isn’t an option
1 tsp Vanilla
¼ tsp salt
- Mix brown sugar and water over medium/high heat to boil, then simmer for 3-4 mins.
- Cool the mixture slightly and add to the cream, milk, vanilla and salt.
- Pour 2 tablespoons over freshly brewed coffee or homemade cold brew and ice.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, chilled.
Making Quality Tangible
Doing good things for myself really does taste sweet. And the best part? It helps my family too. The longer I journey on this road of wife and mother, the more I recognize the importance of good things. Important things. Truth be told, we are far from ready to source a dairy cow (but we may be getting our first chicks soon!). So, we shop local when we can and read the labels when we can’t. It’s a balance. For me, in this season, it’s doable.
A Coffee Toast for Mom
Lastly, this little afternoon pick-me-up is a toast to doing good things for myself. Self-care definitely isn’t all about lattes and bubble baths. If anything, it is hard to choose clean hair or hand cut veggie snacks when there’s a mounting to do list. Already, I’ve found that when those needs (cleanliness, rest, nutrition) are passed up on, my capacity to keep going falters anyways. My battery pack operates on low. And you know what that means… Moody mama.
It’s ten minutes to make a treat that lasts a week. A week of joy and energy, just in time for dinner prep. Good ingredients, a little planning, and ice – always ice.
To find some of our other Jill Winger favorites, check out our post on “5 Best Everyday Cookbooks for Home Cooks“. Do you have a favorite coffee go to? Let us know in the comments!