As soon as I saw the post on her page I realized that this would be SUCH a great (and very easy) item to make at home rather inexpensively. It would be a great and totally unique gift idea, and would also lead to some fun experimentation to see what other foods and beverages would benefit from a little sprinkle.
- buttered toast (like cinnamon toast to the 10th degree!)
- oatmeal or cream of wheat
- ice cream
- buttered popcorn (one of my favorites!)
- hot chocolate or cocoa
- steamed milk
- cocktails like eggnog, coquito, white russians, hot toddy, etc.
- fresh ginger tea
- a bowl of cereal or granola and milk
- warm chocolate cake
- a peanut butter sandwich
- sliced fruit like bananas or pears
- apple pie
- cinnamon buns and/or coffee cake
- vanilla cupcakes
- and more!
This would be a great project to make with kids, too! Let me know if you end up trying it out. The recipe is below. I've also included the PDF label below for you if you'd like to make and give these as an easy last-minute holiday gift.
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DIY Flavor Grinders (Coffee, Sugar, and Spice Grinders)
The size of your pepper mill will determine the amount of filling you need. I've provided amounts for a medium sized mill that holds about 1 cup of the spice mix. Multiply as necessary.
5 tablespoons roasted whole coffee beans (use plain or pick out your favorite flavor such as hazelnut or vanilla)
4 cinnamon sticks
4 tablespoons cacao nibs (available at well-stocked supermarkets like Whole Foods, gourmet markets, or online--can't find them? substitute 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.)
2 rounded tablespoons coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons raw sugar or rock candy sugar
Equipment: 1 new or cleaned, empty pepper mill. It's OK if the mill previously held pepper in it--the coffee will eliminate any pepper flavor.
Combine the coffee beans and cinnamon sticks in a large zipped bag and use a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or other heavy object a few times to crush coarsley (the coffee beans should break into 2 or 3 pieces and the cinnamon sticks into about 1" slivers). You can also do this with a pestle in a mortar.
Pour coffee and cinnamon in a bowl and add the cacao nibs, coarse sea salt, and raw sugar. Stir well to mix up and combine, then pour into your pepper mill, filling it to the top. Seal and shake to evenly distribute the ingredients inside. Set the pepper mill grinder to the coarsest setting for best results.