Dessert Upgrade! How to Flavor Your Sugar
We’re big fans of sweet treats, and easy hacks or upgrades here at Brit HQ. What better way to combine them than by making infused or flavored sugars?
No matter what you prefer to call them, these sugars can easily take your dessert recipe from boring to brilliant. Just imagine sugar cookies topped with a citrus sugar crackle, or brownies made with mint sugar and stuffed with peppermint patties. (Are you drooling yet?)
The technique for making these fancy sugars is pretty standard, so go ahead and experiment with additional spices and ingredients. Just be sure to give each flavor time to really infuse in the sugar, at least overnight, but ideally a couple of days. We tried our hand at lavender, vanilla, citrus zest, and mint. We’ll be excited to see what other combinations you come up with!
First up, lavender sugar. The nice thing about lavender is that you can use it to make more than one batch of flavored sugar. So as you use up your sugar just add a few more scoops plain sugar to the jar and give it a stir. You’ll need to let it sit for a bit again, but you can keep using the same lavender until you notice it’s not quite as flavorful.
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons dried culinary lavender (You can find this at Whole Foods or another natural foods store.)
1. Mix lavender and sugar in a bowl.
2. Transfer to a clean, dry glass mason jar. Allow to sit overnight (at least) before using. Store in an airtight container.
3. When using strain out the dried lavender buds.
We gave you a bit of a preview on how to use vanilla sugar earlier this week in our tea cookies recipe roundup. It uses the same basic technique as the lavender sugar, and you can also refill the sugar as you use it. We almost always have a jar of vanilla sugar in the kitchen. It’s such an easy upgrade to all your baking recipes.
1 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean pod
1. Pour sugar into a medium bowl bowl.
2. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds inside.
3. Mix the seeds into the sugar. If you want to get it really mixed you can use a spice grinder or a mini food processor.
4. Pour half of sugar into a clean, dry mason jar. Add the vanilla bean pod, and cover with the rest of the sugar.
Making mint sugar is a bit trickier than lavender or vanilla, only because it requires you to blend up the mint and the sugar. We used an immersion blender, but you could also use a food processor or a small blender like the Magic Bullet.
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, washed and dried
1. Mix sugar and mint leaves in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
2. Using an immersion blender, blend the mint and sugar until fully combined.
3. Pick out any leaves you weren’t able to blend.
4. Store in a clean, dry mason jar for up to a week. (Because you’re blending this one, you can use it immediately.)
Like the mint sugar, citrus sugar has a shorter shelf life. Try to use it up within two weeks. If you don’t think you’ll use it all, gift some to a friend or make a smaller batch.
1 cup white sugar
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
1. Pour sugar into a medium bowl.
2. Zest both the lemon and the orange into the sugar.
3. Whisk to combine.
4. Store in a clean dry mason jar.
To keep things clear in your pantry once you’ve jarred all of your flavored sugars, make little tags out of card stock and baking twine with the flavor. It’s also smart to write the date you made each batch on the back of the tag. That way you’ll have no problem knowing how long to keep the sugars.
We also think these sugars make fantastic gifts. If you know you won’t be able to use them all up, consider creating a gift set like the one below with small French canning jars. You can also clean out glass spice jars, which are about the same size.
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