A nice homemade batch of this flavored gourmet-style sweetness is so easy to make and such a delight when added to tea and coffee, sprinkled over freshly baked cookies and used in baking. So many different varieties to mix and meld too!
Keep a good stash on hand and you can package in decorative glass jars or canisters to give as last minute gifts (include a tag with suggested uses along with the recipe if you like).
Below you’ll find several different recipes and instructions you can try, each is very easy to make but first a few tips:
- Package final product in an airtight canister and refrigerate unless directed otherwise. Glass mason jars are ideal well for this.
- When working with the outer rinds of citrus fruits, wash well to remove all traces of dirt and debris left behind from being handled. Don’t forget to take off those stickers too!
- You can sift out the citrus peel bits (or fresh herbs, etc.) if you wish, but give it a couple weeks or so before you do, this will give the flavors a chance to infuse more deeply.
- When incorporating lavender or other edible flowers to perfume and infuse their flavor, make sure to select flowers that are pesticide-free and organic if possible.
- Although none of the recipes below include it, you can use flavored extracts instead of the natural products (such as citrus peels, etc.). Start by adding about 1/8 tsp of extract per 1 cup of granulated sugar. Incorporate only a few drops of extract at a time. Whisk in a bowl to combine. This is especially nice for Almond and Peppermint extracts.
- Experiment with spice blends! Suggestion: 1 tsp each of cardamom/cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg or 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp each of ground nutmeg + ginger plus 1/8 tsp each allspice + ground cloves per 1 cup of sugar.
- Experiment with flavor combos: Basil-Lime, Lemon-Mint…great for rimming glasses of cocktails, ice tea and other beverages.
- Pretty tints: Start with 2 drops of liquid food coloring per 1 cup sugar. Blend this by combining and then squeezing/pushing around ingredients a ziploc bag.
- You may find lumps develop more quickly, simply shake canister well before using.
1 1/4 cup grated orange peel
1 cup sugar
- Grate the peel from the oranges, keeping them free from juice. Do not remove any of the pith (white part of the skin).
- Combine the ingredients, burying the bits of peel completely.
- Pack in a sealed, airtight canister and refrigerate.
Pack in an airtight container and refrigerate. Will keep fine for several months.
2 C. Sugar
- Remove the zest from the lemons with a citrus zester. Roughly chop the zest.
- In a food processor, add 1 cup of the sugar and all the lemon zest. Pulse for a few minutes until finely ground.
- Add the rest and toss until well mixed.
- Spread in a large pan and let sit until dry, approximately 1 hour.
- Package and store as instructed above.
3 TBS sugar
3 TBS confectioners sugar
6 drops fresh lemon juice
- Blend completely and use. Pour into a mason jar, refrigerate until needed.
2 1/2 TBS coarsely snipped lemon rind, pith removed (white part)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- In a blender add 1/2 cup of the sugar and all the lemon rind. Blend for a few seconds until the peel is finely incorporated.
- Add the rest and mix well.
- Store in a glass jar or other vessel and keep refrigerated.
Each of the batches below need to be kept in an airtight container, stored in a dark place and kept sealed tight for about 2 weeks. Mix well again and use as needed. They’re good to use for up to one year.
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 herb bag filled with 1/4 cup dried lavender buds and leaves
- Scoop 1 cup of the sugar and place in an airtight container.
- Insert herb bag.
- Pour the rest over top.
- Package and store.
Lavender & Vanilla – #2
4 C. sugar
2 Herb bags each filled with 2 TBS fresh lavender flowers
1 vanilla bean
- Pour sugar into an airtight container.
- Chop the pod into a few pieces then toss into container.
- Place one herb bag towards the bottom and the other towards the top.
- Cover and store in a mason jar or other suitable vessel.
- You can begin to use after a few weeks.
1 TBS lavender flowers
10 TBS sugar
- Combine ingredients making sure to blend them well.
- Pour in a glass mason jar, cover with lid and keep closed for about 2 weeks before using.
1/3 C. fresh lavender flowers
1 C. sugar
- Layer each of the ingredients in a small glass jar.
- Close lid and stash in a dark place for about 2 weeks.
- Shake well to combine.
- Recipe can be doubled.
- You can substitute confectioner’s rather than granulated to use in icings and dustings.
- When using loose lavender (rather than herb bags), you can sift out the buds as you use it.
- Can be incorporated in baking, add to teas, hot beverages or iced drinks, sprinkle on baking and pastries.
- Alternatives: Rose-scented geranium leaves
Fresh mint leaves (good for spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, whatever you like!)
- Wash and pat dry leaves. Leave them to dry for a few hours on a tea towel in a single layer. You want all the moisture removed.
- When ready, slice them into thin strips (or tear apart if you prefer) then pack a canister with layers of mint and sugar.
- Shake jar daily for ten days, strain out the bits and add to teas, sprinkle over desserts, whatever you like!
- Split pod and remove seeds.
- Mix seeds well in sugar, then incorporate the pod skins.
- Seal and store as noted above.
- Scrape the seeds from the bean into the sugar and stir in.
- Push the remaining pod skin down inside.
- Store and seal as directed above.
- Remove the pod pieces after 2 weeks.
- Cut the pod into 1″ pieces then mix ingredients, distributing well.
- Cover and store as directed above.
- Do not remove the pod bits.
- Whisk ingredients together, pour into a canister w/lid and that’s it!
- Same procedure as Cinnamon above.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Combine espresso & meringue powder in a large bowl then add the water.
- Whisk until lumps are gone then allow to cool.
- Add sugar and whisk until the consistency is like damp sand.
- Spoon into a silicone mini ice cube tray (90 compartment) and press the mixture tightly down into cube spaces with a rubber spatula. Place the silicone tray on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and allow to rest at room temperature overnight (min. 8 hrs) and then they should be hard enough to remove from the tray. Recipe adapted from Country Living Magazine.
Each of the following requires storage in an airtight container, place in a dark cupboard, and occasionally shake or mix.
Wait two weeks before using, should keep nicely for up to one year.
1 Tahitian Vanilla Bean
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 Whole Vanilla Bean
2 C. sugar
1 Whole Vanilla Bean
3 C. Granulated Sugar
This is especially delightful sprinkled over pies and other baking. More ideas: whipped cream, buttered toast, oatmeal, yogurt, french toast, pancakes, roasted pecans, sliced apples, bacon.
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. ground cinnamon
1 C. sugar
2 TBS espresso powder
*These are delicious popped into a hot cup of cocoa! Can also be added to a mug of hot coffee for an extra boost. Also lovely on chocolate desserts.
1/2 TBS espresso powder
3/4 tsp. meringue powder
3/4 tsp. hot water
3/4 C. sugar
Alternate: If you don’t have a silicone ice cube tray, you can pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and shape into a *very firmly* packed rectangle. Use a dough cutter to straighten sides then cut into evenly sized cubes. Arrange pieces in single layer and allow to dry at room temperature for 24 to 30 hours.