5 May, 2021
There’s a crazy Instagrammer I’ve been following lately called Black Forager (seriously, check her out), and her thing is foraging goods in a largely suburban environment. I’ve always had a love for foraged snacks, but a couple of her posts really intrigued me, so I thought I’d test them out. I’m making this a general post about how to flavor sugars, but I’ll be using two of her suggestions as example recipes.
To flavor sugar, all you need are a spice/coffee grinder and a sieve. That’s it. Well, and sugar and whatever you’re flavoring it with.
One of her suggestions was sumac sugar, which, as she described it, tastes like eating Sour Patch kids as a ten-year-old while sitting in the theater watching the Incredibles for the first time on the big screen. It’s an oddly specific description, but somehow, it’s completely spot-on.
I didn’t have easy access to a sumac tree, but I did happen to have sumac berries from a local Middle Eastern market. Here’s how it worked:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Dry flavoring agent (sumac berries)
Add your sugar and your flavoring agent to a coffee or spice grinder and run in pulses, shaking between to churn things around, for 30-60 seconds. Pour your mix into a fine sieve over a bowl and use a spoon to push the sugar through, leaving behind the hulls or other unwanted bits from the flavoring agent. Transfer your sugar to a jar and you’re set to go!
Another flavor Black Forager suggested was pine needles. I know that sounds weird, but I’m 1000% making sugar cookies with mine next Christmas. If you want to make pine sugar, you need to cut up the pine needles into tiny fragments first. If you don’t you’re going to tangle up the grinder and kill the motor. Cut it up like rosemary and then give it a whirl.
Flavors To Try
- Sumac (above)
- Pine (also above)
- Lavender (use the flowers)
- Coffee (use your favorite beans or instant coffee powder)
- Fruit (use freeze-dried berries, dried apples, etc. and add spices as you see fit)
- Spiced (try blends like chai spices or your personal favorites)
- Hot pepper (use dried peppers to make glazes for meat)
- Earl Grey (blend up some dry tea leaves — makes a great shortbread)
- Anything you like — Try something that sounds interesting and see what happens!
- Cookie toppings
- Cocktail glass rim dusting
- Glazes for savory dishes (looking at you, pepper sugar)
- Sugar cookie dough
Give it a whirl and try something new and exciting! Share your favorites in the comments or on our social media page!