How did I live life before iced coffee? Granted, with a young toddler in my life, I sleep less than ever these days (yeah, I totally know that’s the 500th time I’ve mentioned it), so maybe that’s why I can’t imagine a life (and especially a morning) without a frosty glass of the stuff clutched between my desperate hands.
Even though I’m usually down with simple straight-up iced coffee concentrate over ice with some half and half, sometimes I like to mix it up a little. Lately I’ve been dreaming of all sorts of variations on iced coffee (basically I’m obsessed, if I haven’t yet made that clear), and this maple vanilla iced coffee is, so far, one of my faves.
It’s pretty simple. Pure maple syrup infused with vanilla, then drizzled into a nice big cup of rich cold-brewed coffee over ice. The maple syrup lends a sweetness that enhances but doesn’t overpower. The vanilla is subtle, but there. You can even see a few flecks of vanilla bean floating here and there, which makes me smile. It’s the little things. And in this case, the really little things. (You know, because vanilla beans are so super tiny? I’ll shut up now.)
As you can see in the photo, I enjoyed this particular cupful with coffee ice cubes in lieu of regular, so I was a little jittery after all that caffeine. But awake, definitely awake. And happy.
Iced coffee – especially maple vanilla iced coffee – is just a happy-making thing.
- Ice or coffee ice cubes
- 1 cup cold-brewed iced coffee concentrate
- 2 tablespoons maple-vanilla syrup (recipe below)
- Half-and-half if desired
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced open vertically and seeds scraped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add maple syrup along with the vanilla bean and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Discard vanilla bean and stir in vanilla extract.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Keeps for about 2 weeks.
- Fill a large glass with ice. Pour iced coffee concentrate over the top. Drizzle in maple syrup and add a splash of half-and-half if desired. Stir and serve with a straw.