Homemade Vanilla Syrup

A couple of years ago I was rockin’ my ratty yoga pants on a Saturday morning. I was feeling so darn accomplished for being coherent enough (aka fully caffeinated) at 7 a.m. to make pancakes for my children.

Let’s face it, Saturday morning cartoons were not created for kids. They were created so parents could sleep in past 7 a.m. So, anyway, I’m up and mixing the pancake batter when I realize we don’t have any syrup. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Well. That was a major downer.

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They say necessity is the mother of invention. In my case, necessity is the mother of “Google it.” So, I pulled up a bunch of recipes and realized that most syrup recipes are brown sugar based. I had brown sugar! We were back on track, baby!

Now, the recipe I found was for maple syrup. Helloooo – I did not have any reason to have maple extract in my cupboard.  So, I improvised. I used vanilla extract. And they all lived happily ever after. Seriously though, the syrup was delicious and decadent.

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The recipe involves 5 ingredients: brown sugar, water, salt, vanilla extract and butter. It takes maybe 5 to 6 minutes to make. Now, keep in mind that hot-off-the-stove, the syrup is going to be really runny – that’s what you’re seeing in these pictures. Still tastes AMAZING though! It becomes thicker as it cools. I store the leftovers in a container in the fridge. I don’t know how long it should last, but ours doesn’t last more than a few weeks before we eat it all. 🙂

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I keep meaning to try the recipe with maple extract, but it’s two years later and that still hasn’t happened. I’m sure it would rock our already happy tastebuds though. Making syrup is so easy and it doesn’t have any chemicals or preservatives in it – you won’t want to go back to the store-bought stuff!

Here’s the original recipe: Cooks.com Pancake Syrup

My version:

VANILLA PANCAKE SYRUP
1 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
3/4 c. water
1 tbsp. butter
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring (really, I’ve never measured this – just a quick “glug” works fine)

Mix brown sugar, water, butter and salt in saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in maple flavoring. Serve warm. Enjoy! Store any leftover syrup in the fridge. (Keep in mind that as the syrup cools, it will thicken. In the refrigerator, the syrup may develop a hard layer on top from the sugar. It melts back in if you heat the syrup back up.)

P.S. In case you are wondering, I make pancakes using the recipe from the old, orange Betty Crocker Cookbook. It doesn’t have a date on it, but it was my Grandma’s, so it’s pretty old. 1950s or 60s maybe?

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