With warmer days approaching (and the end of the school year), my mind drifts towards the slower days of summer. I've stuffed the sweaters into the back of the closet, bringing the t-shirts front and center.
A defining line between the cold and warm months, however, is my switch from hot coffee to cold brew.
As a teacher, I drink my fair share of coffee. My favorite moments to enjoy a cup is relaxing after a long day at work, with my feet up on the couch, or on a slow-moving weekend morning.
Lately, I've been drinking Dunkin' Donuts Cold Brew. It's easy to prepare and has a smooth finish, with no acidity or bitter taste.
On Sunday nights, I prep the cold brew by placing two coffee pouches into a two-quart pitcher with four cups of water and leave it to steep in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, I remove the pouches, add a few cups of water to dilute it to my taste, and it is ready to enjoy. Best of all, the pitcher lasts the rest of the week so the work is complete in two simple steps.
One of my favorite cold brew tricks is to freeze some of the cold brew into ice cubes after it has finished brewing. Then, when it's time to enjoy the coffee, I add a few cold brew cubes. The drink stays cold longer, and the coffee cubes prevent the drink from becoming watered down as the ice melts.
I prefer my cold brew with creamer to add a hint of flavor and sweetness. After finding disappointment with dairy-free brands, I set out to create my own. As I often do for a dairy-free alternative, I reached for the can of full-fat coconut milk. While homemade coconut milk creamer works well in hot beverages, the fat separates to the top when it hits a cold beverage, rendering it undrinkable.
Almonds, however, do the job and do it well.
This homemade almond milk creamer holds together well in a cold drink and lends itself to customization. To give the creamer its creaminess, I follow a similar approach as I do with my recipe for homemade almond milk. The difference is that I add less water when blending so the almond milk is concentrated.
With pure vanilla extract for flavor and maple syrup to sweeten to taste, this homemade almond milk creamer is complete. I adore this creamer because it mimics the coffee house experience with simple, wholesome ingredients.
The coffee creamer may appear to separate if it is left to rest, but a quick swirl of the glass will bring it back to a uniform appearance. Use as much or as little as you like in your next glass of cold brew.
This cold brew with homemade vanilla almond milk creamer works as a great afternoon pick-me-up. Brewed with Dunkin' Donuts Cold Brew Coffee Packs, the coffee has a smooth, rich finish. I prefer to enjoy it with homemade creamer flavored with vanilla and sweetened with maple syrup, but you can customize the drink to your taste. Enjoy!
One Year Ago: Strawberry Scones
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls
Three Years Ago: Blueberry Oat Bars (GF) & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (GF)
Four Years Ago: Chocolate Blackberry Cupcakes
Five Years Ago: Sunflower Seed Bread, Blackberry Fool, Lime Curd Tart, & Honey Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Six Years Ago: Tiramisu Cake, Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies, Honey Wheat Cake, & Chocolate Almond Ice Cream
Seven Years Ago: Chocolate-Filled Buns, Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies, & Parmesan Poppy Seed Crackers
Cold Brew with Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer
Yields 6 servings
1 pouch Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew Coffee Packs
1 cup (120 grams) raw almonds
3 1/2 cups (830 mL) filtered water, divided
3-5 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
The cold brew and almond milk creamer need to be started the evening before serving.
To prepare the cold brew coffee, follow the directions according to the package.
To prepare the almond milk creamer, place almonds in a container and cover with 2 cups filtered water. Seal container and allow to soak overnight, for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
Strain almonds and rinse with fresh water. (The almonds release phytic acid while soaking, which prevents the body from absorbing nutrients; rinsing the almonds removes this acid.) Place almonds and 1 1/2 cups filtered water in a blender. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Using a nut bag, layered cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer, strain the almond milk to remove the pulp. If using the fine mesh strainer, run the milk through several times to eliminate pulp. The leftover pulp can be used in smoothies, muffins, or bread, or it can be dehydrated and used in the same manner as almond flour. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract to the almond milk.
Keep the almond milk creamer refrigerated. It should stay fresh for 5 to 7 days. The creamer may undergo separation in the refrigerator. Give the creamer a good shake and it will come back together quickly.
To prepare the cold brew coffee drink, place prepared cold brew in a glass with ice and add almond milk creamer to taste. For best results, freeze some of the cold brew into ice cubes in advance. This method keeps the cold brew chilled and prevents it from getting watered down as the ice melts.
©The J.M. Smucker Company © 2017. DD IP Holder LLC.