Use ordinary sugar to create decadent cookies, pies, and even decorative spirals. Grab a bag and get started.
- Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Cooking Light
The Raw FactsOnce luxuriously known as "White Gold," sugar is now abundant and affordable. One bag of the white or brown sweet stuff can sweeten dozens of desserts using nearly as many methods. Fire up the torch, grab the heavy skillet, and get started.
Turbinado: Chocolate ThumbprintsSometimes labeled raw sugar or Demerara sugar, turbinado sugar is a golden-brown, large-crystal sugar typically used to top cookies and scones. The coarse grains are large enough to be seen and give the goodies a sugary sparkle after baking. Granulated sugar can be substituted, if needed.
Brown Sugar: Brown Sugar-Banana MuffinsOften used in baking, brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it. Enjoy the deep flavor of the caramel-colored pantry staple in cakes or muffins, like this user favorite, made with bananas. When measuring brown sugar, be sure to pack it firmly so that, when inverted into the bowl, the sugar holds the shape of the measuring cup.
Powdered Sugar: Cream Cheese IcingPowdered sugar, or confectioners' sugar, is made by grinding granulated sugar into a fine powder. It dissolves quickly, making it ideal for making icings like this rich Cream Cheese Icing. Slather on fresh-baked, completely-cooled carrot or Italian cream cakes. Add a light dusting around the cake, or on top of cookies, to showcase its decorative side.
Butterscotch: Butterscotch PieIf you thought butterscotch only came in candy form next to the chocolate chips, think again. True butterscotch is made by combining brown sugar with butter and cooking until the consistency resembles wet sand. It takes only a few minutes and gives this homemade pie a rich and creamy flavor. Save any extra and drizzle over your next ice cream sundae.
Spun Sugar: Caramelized Sugar SpiralsShowcase your inner artist with Caramelized Sugar Spirals. The mixture cooks without stirring, so just mix the ingredients and let your stove do the work for about 25 minutes, then drizzle the syrupy sugar combination in spirals on wax paper. As it cools, your artwork will harden into the perfect cake, pie, or ice cream topper.
Brûlée: Honey Créme Brûlée with RaspberriesAny time a recipe requires the use of a kitchen blow torch, the result is guaranteed to be good. Make this dessert the night before, then spoon sugar over top of each custard. Move the torch evenly over the top of the custards until the sugar is completely melted and caramelized. The crisp sugar coating is the perfect complement to the creamy treat waiting below.
Candy: Rock CandyTeach kids about crystallization and satiate their sweet tooth at the same time. This recipe takes up to 14 days to fully crystallize, so enjoy the process and watch the candy grow on the string. Heat water to help sugar fully dissolve, then add food coloring, cinnamon oil, and vanilla. Substitute mint, strawberry, or orange oils to create your own concoctions.