Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time Wasters Wednesday - Making Vanilla and Lavender Sugars

Add a little unexpected flavor to your everyday recipes by substituting an infused sugar for a plain one! They are incredibly simple to make and extremely versatile. Vanilla sugar measures cup for cup in any recipe that calls for granulated sugar, and you can substitute 1/4 - 1/2 of the lavender sugar in place of the plain.

Lavender Sugar Recipe:

* 2 tbs. dried organic culinary lavender
* 2 cups ultrafine Baker's Sugar (regular sugar can be used, but I prefer Baker's sugar because it is great for dusting baked goods, sprinkling on fresh berries, and stirring into beverages. It is so fine that it almost melts instantly, which also makes it ideal for making smooth and creamy frostings/icings.)

Use a spice and nut grinder to reduce the lavender buds to a fine looking powder. (A mortar and pestle will work too)

In a mixing bowl, add lavender to the Baker's sugar.

Mix until evenly incorporated.

Pour into an air tight container and and let sit for at least 48hrs before using.

Vanilla Sugar recipe:

* 2-3 Vanilla Beans (Vanilla beans pack so much flavor, that you can reuse pods that were used in a different recipe. Just make sure they are dry.)
* Baker's Sugar to cover

Slice beans down the center, but do not scrape out. (No problem if you used the seeds for a different dish, the pods themselves are still highly concentrated with flavor.)

In an airtight container, pour the Baker's sugar over the beans until they are covered. Vanilla sugar needs a good 4-6 weeks to infuse before it is ready, (less if you use more beans). It also helps the infusion process if you give your sugar a shake every few days. Don't worry if seeds appear in your sugar, this will only make it more flavorful. The one really great thing about vanilla beans is that they will flavor your sugar for an insane amount of time. Just keep topping off your jar and you will have limitless amounts available when you need it!

Don't keep it to yourself! Why not share it with friends? When your sugar is ready, you can pour it into individual jars,(Ball makes some adorable 8oz jars that would work perfectly!), attach a little note, recipe, or custom label and give it as a gift. They would even make excellent inexpensive,(homemade) wedding favors!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I'm making the lavender sugar tonite! thanks for posting