In an effort to cut down on calories, costs, and how much plastic my family uses, my husband and I have given up bottled flavored coffee creamers. The half and half we prefer comes in a box and sugar is fine as a sweetener. However, we're hardly limited to just granulated sugar. Flavored sugars are quick to make and give these and other beverages and treats a special twist. Whether you are making your own brown sugar or putting together fun citrus sugars for your cocktails, it's time to take a look at the basics and some favorite options.
We begin with the easiest flavored sugars to make. Grab a resealable jar, some granulated sugar, and assorted ground spices to suit your needs. Combine about 1 cup of sugar to 1 tablespoon of spices, seal the jar, and shake until combined. Cinnamon sugar is probably the most common version, but I love adding pumpkin pie spice to my sugar and even just powdered ginger. Chai spices also work beautifully here.
The other way to make flavored sugars involves using a food processor or blender and often involves wetter ingredients like zest, fresh ginger, molasses, maple syrup, etc. As before, combine 1 cup of sugar to about 1 tablespoon of your desired flavoring (you can mix and match to make this up - I love lemon zest and fresh ginger, for example) and pulse the appliance until the sugar is well combined. When using zest or ginger, small bits of each will remain but you should see and smell the ingredient's impact on the sugar. The lime zest above gave the sugar a light green hue and the heavily sugared bits of zest are tasty to just eat! Store these at room temperature and use within a couple of weeks. You will want to shake them a bit to loosen them up before using.
I like making cinnamon sugar and maple sugar for using in my coffee and tea. Zesty, gingery sugars are fantastic for cocktails and summery drinks. Coconut and chai sugars are fantastic dessert secrets. All of these are fantastic sprinkled on top of cookies, pie crusts, and more. Pick and choose your favorites and get ready to take your dessert and beverage games up a few notches.