June 21, 2011

Homemade Sugar Cubes

So, did anyone make a bench cushion last night?  No? 

Well, today I shall share something that I tried for the first time yesterday, and had ENORMOUS success with.  If you've read my recent blogs, then you will know that I have a large tea party coming up shortly, and I've been a busy little lady bringing all the many pieces of it together. 

For last year's tea, a friend of mine decorated sugar cubes which were a beautiful little addition.  This year, she is quite busy with a new job, so it became obvious that pieces she had done for me before would have to be taken into my own hands, sugar cubes included.  Obviously, it wouldn't be quite right to serve decorated sugar cubes one year, and plain ol' sugar the next. 

Google to the rescue!

I found a perfect sugar cube recipe: Rosewater Sugar Cubes, and decided that I could quite easily put this into action.

  1. Sugar
  2. Flavored water (such as Rosewater {which I found at a local organic store}, orange blossom extract, mint, etc)
  3. food coloring (optional)
  4. small cookie cutters (optional)
  5. cookie sheets
Begin by mixing your sugar with your flavored water.  I started with about a half-cup of sugar, to which I added the flavored water in small portions until it looked right.  You want the mixture to be something like wet sand (if it's too dry, it won't stick together, too wet, it will pack down into a soggy mess).  I also added food coloring to the mixture to help identify the flavor (pink for rosewater, green for mint, peach for orange blossom, and then some plain-flavored, lavender-colored.)

Your mixture should look like wet sand.

Next, pack your sugar into your cookie cutters (which is very much a hands-on project... it does not work half as well if you try to use a spoon.)  I found that filling my cookie cutters about half-way made the perfect size.  Gently press them out the bottom of the cookie cutter, and place them on a cookie sheet.

Now, I have found that most sugar cube directions say to merely let them dry, but I'm impatient, so I turned my oven onto a very low heat (150, I think) and let them sit in there until the outside of each cube was solid (something like 20 minutes).  The inside was still quite syrup-like, so I let them cool afterwards and they hardened quite nicely. 

You can see that they're still a little syrup-like, but
cooling at room temperature for 10 minutes hardens them.
My assistant and I agreed that the rosewater was lovely, the orange, charming, but the mint -- OH! the mint!  It tasted like wintergreen candy, and there is no font or emoticon that can interpret how wonderful it smelled... it was still lingering in the air when I woke up this morning!  {And I have no doubt that it would make a perfect small gift for another time!}

Rosewater cubes

So, here's a small sampler of the sugar cubes, once finished.  I'll admit, it's a lot of sugar per cube, even for someone like me, but that's alright -- they look so perfect on a plate together that we'll pretend they're the perfect size. 

And fyi - we already tested them.  They are delightful in a nice cup of tea!  :)

~ Sarah

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