Top of the morning to ya.
Today’s post is all about jazzing up your morning bev. Ironically, I come from a non-coffee drinking family, and I didn’t start hitting the morning brew until the end of undergrad (thanks, Brittney!). Now, my day starts off on a very bad note if I am without my cuppa Joe. This winter, I’ve really gotten into chai lattes, but it isn’t exactly economical to head to my local coffee shop every single morning. So when I ran across this post on Homemade Vanilla Bean Chai Syrup on Food52 a couple weeks ago, I knew it was happening.
The beauty of this homemade chai syrup is that you can add it to tea or coffee.
Or you could bake with it! Chai Spice banana bread, anyone? Chai ice cream!?
I’ll have to do some experimenting sometime soon.
I never really knew what spices exactly made up “chai.” It’s familiar and exotic all at once.
Traditionally, chai tea is from India, and is steeped in milk with sugar and cardamom.
So, this isn’t traditional in any way whatsoever. But it is delicious.
Homemade Chai Syrup
– 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
– 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
– Pinch of salt
– 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Mix all ingredients together. Store in a clean, air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to six months.
A note on vanilla beans: if you try to buy them at your local grocer, you will be shocked and appalled at the heinous prices. Generally, McCormick vanilla beans come two (TWO!?!) to a jar, and cost around $11 or $12. It’s highway robbery on the spice aisle, I tell you. Do yourself a favor and order them in bulk online. You’ll save bookoodles of cash. Plus, you can always make homemade vanilla extract out of the beans leftover from projects like this. I purchase my vanilla beans from JR Mushrooms Brand
(<– affiliate link!) and it’s been one of the best kitchen decisions I’ve made. There are, of course, other merchants on Amazon to order from but this is the one I’ve used in the past, and I’ve been very satisfied at their promptness in shipping and customer service in general.
It might be beneficial to look into purchasing any other new spices online, while you’re at it. Full disclosure: I was missing cardamom and white pepper in my arsenal, so I grabbed them with a sense of urgency at our local Winn Dixie. Turns out, they were $10 a pop, too. So if you’re ordering the vanilla beans, it might be wise to go ahead and order those two, too.
I’ve been enjoying just a smidge – maybe a half-teaspoon? – in my cup of coffee in the morning with a splash of milk or creamer. The spices are so warming on these chilly mornings we’ve been having.
If you like chai tea or chai lattes, do yourself a favor and mix this up. It makes a lot and keeps for six months, but at the rate I’m going, it probably won’t last that long.