I have posted these cookies before, but this year I did an awesome twist that I thought I would mention. I rolled the cookies between layers of infused sugars. They are amazing! The sugars I have are Orange blossom, Violet and vanilla and Rose which I was gifted! But I make flavoured sugars all the time.
Flavoured sugars are really delicious and can be used for lots of things. I’m going to give you a few versions here, but do experiment! It’s amazing how well the sugar takes on a flavour and it can be a really nice subtle addition to tea or coffee, any kind of baking and definitely good for rolling cookies in.
Start with 1.5 – 2 cups granulated sugar and jars or sealable containers that fit that much sugar in them. I like to use raw sugar for the big granules, but you can use demerara or regular white sugar also. You can also colour your sugars with a tiny drop of food colouring mixed in to the plain sugar first. This is actually quite handy if you’re using more than one flavour at a time- so you don’t get confused which is which.
Vanilla sugar, split 1 vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds from the bean into the sugar, mix together and then bury the bean in the sugar. (Ready to use in 1 week)
Cinnamon sugar, add 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon and 2 cinnamon sticks. (Ready to use in 2 days)
Cardamom sugar, add 1 Tbsp whole green cardamom pods. (Ready to use in 1 week)
Citrus sugar, add the finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon. Sometimes this sugar gets a little hard after time, but you can break it up and it’s still good to use. (Ready to use in 2 days)
Lavender sugar, place 2 Tbsp vanilla in a small cheesecloth tied with thread, or a silk teabag and place in the sugar. (ready to use in 1 week)
Peppermint sugar, place a fresh bunch of mint in the jar with the sugar, but remove the mint after 2 days or it will go bad. Peppermint sugar is quite strong so it doesn’t take long to infuse.
For more delicate floral flavours like violet, rose or orange blossom, pick about a 3/4 cup – 1 cup of the fresh flowers, make sure they are not wet or damp or sprayed with nasty chemicals. You want to make layers of sugar and then flowers in the jar and leave them for about 4 days. Then you need to sieve the flowers out. You can use dried flowers also, just use like the lavender sugar (above).
The sugars will stay flavorful in a sealed container for up to 1 year.
Song for this recipe:
If you don’t know smooth Perry Como, I really think you should. Valentines is the perfect day for a listen to one of the original crooners. Born in 1912, Perry was a real gentleman, he often refused to do things he thought were in ‘bad taste’ and offered the first on air live apology when one of the guests on his tv show was offended by another. I don’t think he was part of the rat pack but he said he was heavily influenced by Bing Crosby. Why not spend Valentines evening with some sugar and some sweet old songs?