Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Flavored Sugars

infused sugar

I’ve first encountered flavored sugars at my local Lidl, and even though I consider myself a conscious consumer, the marketing totally worked. I mean let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want something called Deluxe Baked Apple Flavour Sugar? Especially on a dark and rainy fall afternoon.

Although I love this product, at one point I started thinking how difficult could it be to make something similar at home. A quick Pinterest search later I realized these fancy sugars are a hit! Bonus points for being inexpensive and virtually endless in variety.

Anything you’d use plain white sugar in/on can be spruced up with infused sugars: they are wonderful to have on hand for stirring into coffee, sprinkling over oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, cookies, even to garnish the rim of a cocktail glass. They take anything up a notch.

The technique for making infused sugars is so straightforward I wouldn’t even call it a recipe, pretty much like infused salts. You will need 4 parts plain ol’ granulated sugar, brown sugar or powdered sugar, plus 1 part flavor of your choosing. Let the sugar sit for at least one week to get optimal flavor.

Spices may be added ground or whole, or both for a pretty presentation (you can always strain the infused sugar into a separate bowl before using to flavor something where bigger particles are not welcome).

Store your creations in small airtight jars (I love these affordable ones from Ikea). My  vanilla-cinnamon sugar is kept in a sifter-shaker so it’s ready for a generous dusting whenever inspiration strikes, which is often.

Flavored sugars made with dry ingredients (like vanilla, cinnamon or culinary-grade lavender) last for months, while varieties with wet ingredients (like fresh mint leaves or citrus rind) have a shorter shelf life of a few weeks. Don’t forget to mark the date you made each batch on the container. Your infusion might clump up a little while drying, but a good shake helps break it up before using.

Consider creating a gift set for Mother’s Day with nice tags and suggestions to use. Have fun experimenting with interesting flavor combinations, and don’t forget to tell me about it!

Love,

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I like and use products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders, what I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion. I am not being compensated through sponsorship, commissions or gifts. No affiliate links are included in this post.*

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Friday Finds

🎶 I’m dreaming of a white… 🎶

and black Christmas!

By Dani of Ein klitzeklein(es) Blog, photo: Herr K.

black white christmas By Nadine of Herz Allerliebst: Via Pinterest:

black white christmas Via Detail Collective: Via 30 Something Urban Girl:Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Friday Finds

Time to start thinking of those wish lists, and the pretty gift wrap options! Which of these styles resonate with you?

Powdery hues by Elisabeth Heier:

gift wrapping

Natural and stylish by Abi of These Four Walls:

gift wrapping

Modern in glacier blue via Pinterest:

gift wrap

DIY paint flicked by Toni of The Pretty Blog:

gift wrap

Pretty in copper by Cox & Cox:

gift wrap

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Pantry Staples: Gingerbread & Lebkuchen Spice

pantry staples gingerbread lebkuchen spice cover

Gift Idea Alert! I know, I know, it’s mid-November but you can never start too early if you want to take the stress factor out from holiday gifting. (OK, my Christmas shopping during summer sales might be a bit extreme, but you get the concept).

When it comes to presents, you can expect food favors from me, and as we approach festive season I will post delicacies that double as gifts to help tick some names off your list.

Today, I’m here to give you the ultimate winter classics: gingerbread spice and Lebkuchengewürz. Lebkuchen is also a gingerbread variety: the traditional German Christmas treat made with honey, spices, enriched with nuts and sometimes icing on top.

Gingerbread and Lebkuchen spices are similar, but not identical. Equally heavy on the cinnamon, while a traditional UK/US gingerbread blend has ginger, cloves (sometimes nutmeg and allspice is also added), Lebkuchen spice is more complex with coriander, star anise, cardamom and black peppercorn.

Both are versatile mix of spices perfect for baking the classic cookie, and can also be added to lots of other things. Basically, whatever you want to have a holiday flavor, let it be food or beverage.

Gingerbread spice is great in fruity sauces to accompany roasts, to sprinkle on a towering whipped cream mountain floating on your hot cocoa, on roasted butternut squash or carrots, adding to waffle batter, oatmeal, rice pudding, bundt cakes, crumbles, pies, to infuse honey and for making sugar syrups. Just to mention a few. 🙂

Stating hereby I have nothing against buying gingerbread spice at the store, since I usually have all the ingredients in my spice cabinet, I make it for myself. When I can’t get something like it happened with cardamom not so long ago, Kotányi Honey Cake spice mix (the one I used for my Festive Plum Preserve) or Bella Lebkuchen Spice from Aldi are tried, true & much loved replacement items.

bella kotanyi gingerbread spice mix

Wether your taste gravitates towards the Anglosphere or Germanoshere, all you need is 5 minutes of your life to pre-make these endlessly customizable blends to have at the ready for several rounds of holiday baking and gift-giving. Fragrant, warm and aromatic, gingerbread spice is the perfect pantry staple to transform any food into a festive treat.

You can buy ground ingredients, or for an even richer aroma, buy whole spices and grind at home in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.

gingerbread spice ingredients

A little tip for mixing the spices evenly that I’ve learnt on family sausage stuffing events is to measure everything into a plastic bag, twist to close (don’t press air out) and shake.

mixing spices for gingerbread spice

mixing gingerbread spice

Gingerbread Spice

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

2 parts ground ginger

2 parts ground cinnamon

1 part ground cloves

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients well
  2. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place

Lebkuchengewürz

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground star anise

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground black peppercorn

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients well
  2. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place

Go on and get bakin’!

Love,

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I like and use the products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders. What I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship or gifts.*

“Store shelves with goods” illustration featured in title image © Redspruce