Lemon Sugar Recipe
Culinary garnishes like flavored sugars, oils and vinegars give you an edge in the kitchen. They rev up your recipes while incorporating some fun and excitement into the process. Lemon sugar on a plain sugar cookie will enhance its flavor and make a subtle but real difference in the batch -- something that says no one but you could have made them that way. Adding, say, lavender sugar to your cupcakes may not win you a gold medal, but it's a nice touch too, and delivers a unique flavor, giving your cooking an individual stamp.
How to Make Lemon Sugar
Pair sugar with cinnamon and you have a quick way to add extra appeal to your morning toast (bagel or English muffin). The latest sugar combo on our list is lemon sugar. It's sweet with just a hint of tart that makes the sweet, sweeter and the tart (sour) more interesting.
Two Basic Lemon Sugar Recipes
1 1/2 cups sugar
Optional - 4 Lemon balm sprigs cut into three inch pieces
Lemon Sugar Recipes - Version 1
Zest the lemon by removing the thin, colored skin (not the spongy white part called the pith). Combine the lemon zest, herbs and sugar. Spread on a cookie sheet and let sit in a warm spot to dry for six hours or more. Pour all ingredients into a wide mouthed jar and cure for three weeks, shaking daily. After curing, strain the sugar to remove the lemon and herbs.
Lemon Sugar Recipes - Version 2
Another option is to grind the zest of one lemon into the 1 /12 cups of sugar using a spice or coffee grinder. Dry for a few hours or overnight before placing in a container. You'll have a speckled yellow and white product with bright, lemony flavor that won't fade (not as good with beverages).
Flavored Sugar Refinements and Quick Facts
Sugar is a natural antibacterial agent making it a stable and easy ingredient to work with. In some areas, it's even used to treat surgical wounds. It also declumps easily (using a spice or coffee grinder if necessary).
Lemon sugar will keep indefinitely and retain its flavor as long as you keep the jar lid on tight. For more visual appeal, you can stir in a few drops of water to which you've added food coloring and leave the sugar on your counter until the water evaporates. Stir or give it a twirl in the grinder to eliminate the clumps
I have quite a few herbs and like to use lemon herb varieties to add subtle flavors to my sugar. If you only have access to a lemon, it will imbue your sugar with nice lemony fragrance and flavor all by itself -- although you might want to try growing a few lemony herbs next season.
Give flavored sugars a try. They'll enliven your morning coffee. If the economy is limiting your java to the stuff you brew yourself, it's a nice way to give yourself a treat without paying a fortune or spending precious morning minutes in the kitchen. Flavored sugars are also good with tea (especially ice tea) and all manner of desserts.
In the next couple of weeks we'll explore a few other flavored sugars, along with some hints for turning your sugar pairings into distinctive gifts.