1/2 cup ice water
1/2 cup Instant Milk Powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
It is really easy. The most important part is getting everything nice and cold. Put the bowl and the beaters in the freezer to chill. I would even put the 1/2 cup water in the bowl to get ice cold (but don't let it turn to ice!).
Once it's cold, take out the bowl with the 1/2 cup water, add the 1/2 cup Instant Milk Powder, and turn on the beater. It'll take 3-5 minutes of beating (the colder it is, the faster it goes) and you'll see the milk start to thicken into a cream. Once it's thick and creamy, add the powdered sugar and the vanilla, then continue to beat. It will turn into a wonderful whipped topping for pancake, brownies, fruit, pie, well, just about anything!
Mine never formed super stiff peaks like in the Shelf Reliance picture, but it did achieve soft peaks. The consistency is more like Dreamwhip than Coolwhip. My husband said as an every day whipped topping, this was a 7 or 8, because he would still prefer to use Coolwhip on an every day basis. But as an emergency recipe, it rates a 9 or 10 and he's grateful we can have whipped topping whenever we want.
Here's a link to Kelsey Nixon (of food network stardom) showing you how to make it. (Shelf Reliance has a you tube channel with great videos). I figure this is better than my personal pictures. Enjoy!