I saved this caffeine-induced post for the middle of the week for a very good reason.
I need to recharge my batteries! Don’t you?
Good thing I am writing the majority of this post in the morning hours because I am strongly addicted to every single thing I’m sharing in this post. And if I wrote it last night, I know I would have craved a nice cold glass of iced coffee to get the writing juices flowing. And then I would have been up for hours watching infomercials and real housewives reruns.
I’m pretty sure the last time I drank a cup of coffee past maybeeee 2 pm was probably finals week of college senior year. So, five years ago. I was with one of my college roomies over the weekend and we (obviously) took a trip down memory lane – and the topic of how we discovered we actually liked (gasp!) the taste of coffee came up. Her and I spent many days/nights together in the library because it was the only place we could actually focus -aka not get distracted by other roommates/tv/etc – but I laugh because we probably did it for the library Starbucks cafe that allowed us to use our dining hall meal cards. By the end of senior year, about 75% of my meal card money went to coffees and wraps (they had THE BEST wraps ever).
Anyways, we joked about the insane, frappy, mocha-y, chocolatey drinks we ordered – especially the first two years of college – thinking we were actually drinking coffee. So sophisticated. And sugary. By senior year? We acquired an actual taste and tolerance and love for coffee and were able to order simpler drinks with maybe a splash of sweetener that actually got the job done. Because no matter how much I really love coffee, it needs a little bit of sweetener.
So long story…short?… after our weekend visit, I (of course) was thinking all about coffee and knew it was the perfect time to finally share a successful cold-brewed coffee recipe. Naturally, I didn’t and couldn’t, and wouldn’t stop there. Since cold-brewed coffee is seriously so easy, I needed a few more elements that would be useful… and delicious. Hazelnut coffee ice cubes! Homemade sweeteners! I even had something else but decided to save it for another time. I figure this is enough coffee-related things for one post.
For the most part, I really do love the taste of coffee. Even though I’m 98% convinced the caffeine boosts are all just a mental mind game, I enjoy the taste, and the routine, of having coffee in the mornings. I don’t want to depend on coffee, which is one of the reasons I don’t drink it as much on the weekends or I’ll drink tea instead, so I really believe (most of the time) I drink it because I enjoy the taste. Especially iced coffee. Especially when it’s 98 degrees (and rising) outside. I’ve experimented with a few different iced coffee recipes this summer, but by far this one is the easiest and most enjoyable out of any.
Can I quickly tell you about the disaster that happened just before I was about to shoot the photos for this? The pitcher of coffee, after sitting for 12 glorious hours, spilled everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Even though the stain says otherwise, I managed to salvage a good portion of the liquid + the grounds, but it was a mess. And that is the reason there aren’t many shots of the actual coffee.
I still can’t decide which part of this I love most. The cold-brewed coffee? The hazelnut ice cubes? The vanilla cinnamon syrup? The homemade creamer that I’m particularly happy about because I can control the amount of sugars and ingredients I put into it? I don’t have to decide, right? I can like them all equally as much, especially when they combine forces?
Whether you like your coffee black, with a little more of a coffee boost (cubes!), with just a splash of syrup to give it a slight vanilla and cinnamon flavor, or have a heavy hand and need creamer – there is literally something for everyone! Oh and it takes maybe like 10 minutes of actual “hands on” time. I recommend making it all after dinner one night, that way it’s ready to go the next morning. The best!
PS while I still have your caffeinated, or un-caffeinated, attention! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I’ve teamed up with a couple of other bloggers to do a giveaway! Free stuff – like my current favorite cook book and two other awesome prizes. Delivered right to you (if your name is picked…). If you have Instagram, be sure to enter! Winner will be picked this Friday 8/7.
- 2 cups coarsely-ground coffee
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 cups room temperature brewed coffee
- Pure hazelnut extract (you use 1 teaspoon per cube)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup almond/soy/regular milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean) or pure hazelnut extract
- Add ground coffee and cold water to a large pitcher or bowl. Stir, cover and refrigerate (I like this better than leaving at room temperature) for at least 12 hours.
- When ready, line a strainer with a couple of coffee filters or a cheese cloth and place in a large-size bowl. Slowly (in batches), pour the coffee into the filter until the liquid has filtered through the strainer. Discard the grounds. Serve the coffee over ice (like the hazelnut iced cubes! Transfer the remaining coffee to a pitcher, cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.
- Pour room temperature brewed coffee (I used 2 cups leftover coffee that was still sitting in the coffee pot) into an ice cube trays. Add a teaspoon of hazelnut extract into each cube, gently stir and freeze completely.
- Add the vanilla bean/extract, cinnamon, brown sugar and water to a small saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, reduce heat to low and let simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to a sealed container.
- Add the condensed milk, almond milk, and vanilla extract or hazelnut extract to a mason jar (or anything with a lid) and shake well. Add desired amount to iced coffee! Store in the refrigerator 1-2 weeks.