Friday, February 12, 2010

A Sweet Treat ~ Infused Sugar

The idea of infusing sugar is new to me. My daughter made up some of these little jars for Valentine presents. She'll trim them with ribbon before she gives them to her friends.

If you're tired of plain old sugar, you can impress your friends with this easy recipe. Infused sugar makes a sweet gift, or hostess present, especially if you round it out with specialty coffee or tea and a pretty mug. And there are endless possibilities for pairing lovely containers with flavorful sugars.

Vanilla Bean Sugar is awesome on top of muffins or sugar cookies. A sprinkle on a bowl of fresh strawberries is sublime! All of these flavors are wonderful really. Just imagine a pumpkin muffin with nutmeg sugar sprinkled on the cream cheese frosting. Star Anise looks especially festive in the jar and imparts a licorice flavor to the sugar.

Flavorings for Infusing Sugar:
-Vanilla bean pod
-Cloves (whole)
-Star anise
-Cardamom pods
-Cinnamon stick
-Fennel seeds
-Crystallized ginger
-Lavender buds
-Rose petals (look for organic, no-spray buds)
-Mint (fresh)
-Orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit peel (allow it to dry out for at least 24 hours first)
-Rosemary (fresh)
-Use any of these flavorings with granulated sugar. Or you might prefer to use pale golden raw sugar.

Small jars with tight fitting lids make perfect containers for your infused sugars. Use 1 cup of sugar for half pint jars or 2 cups for 1 pint jars. Layer your infusing agent with the sugar. You can add as much of the flavoring agent as you want. Some of the flavors are best if they are subtle. Infuse for at least a week, shaking the jar daily to distribute the flavor throughout. Store in an air-tight container to keep the sugar from drying out. You may want to include a tag with your gift, explaining how to use the infused sugar.

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