We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Homemade Allspice and Sparkling Sugar

So I decided to try a new cookie recipe (tutorial to be posted later), but it called for a few things I didn't have: Allspice and designer sparkling sugar. The sun had already set so walking to the store was out. And even if it was daylight, I couldn't justify to myself to make a trip to buy those two expensive sounding things. I needed allspice and sparkling sugar for the homemade girl. And it needed to be made out of what I had in my cabinets. 

A search for sparkling sugar brought up images of brightly colored granulated sugar. That's it. They charge almost twice as much for a little food coloring? From what I read, it is large sugar crystals coated with wax to make it sparkle, and comes in every color you can imagine! Well, I have food grade paraffin wax that I make candles with, but there's no way I was wasting it on sugar. But, brightly colored sugar? I can do that. 

Homemade Sparkling Sugar

2 cups granulated sugar
Food coloring of choice

In a ziptop bag, add several drops of food coloring to sugar. 
Seal bag and massage the coloring all throughout to evenly distribute. 
In a few minutes, you'll have your very own custom colored sugar! 
Use for a pretty accent on baked goods or to roll cookies in before baking.

I don't remember ever smelling or tasting allspice. What is it? I found out it's a berry that is dried and powdered. What does it taste like? From various websites, I learned that people described the taste of allspice to be a mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Great! I have all that in my cabinets. But everyone also agreed that allspice has a "bite" to it that neither of those 4 spices contain. Not so great. How do you recreate a vague "bite"? I've had spice cake and I could kind of understand that elusive bite the allspice lovers were talking about. There's another layer of flavor that makes it so much more interesting than the regular 'holiday spices' combined. I decided to go for it and create an allspice substitute. If there is a better one out there from someone who actually knows what the real stuff tastes like, please let me know because I would love to have access to the cheap version that tastes authentic!
 As it is, here's my homemade allspice substitute:

Homemade Allspice Substitute
1 Tbs nutmeg
1 Tbs ground ginger
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs ground cloves
1 Tbs black pepper. (yup, that's my attempt at recreating the bite)

These spices smelled amazing together, by the way.

Mix well and store in an airtight container. Use as a frugal substitute for allspice! 

I made molasses cookies with this and they taste wonderful! No bitter aftertaste from the pepper, although I did feel a little strange putting my faux allspice into my sweet smelling cookie batter, but oh well. It was for the cause. And now I know it isn't terrible works!

I truly believe that where there's a will there's a way. You take what you have and you make it work.  Lots of times it will end in failure, but you learn something. Like how not to do that again. 
But a few times, when you take a chance and work with what you have, well, you get awesome molasses cookies that nobody knows you baked with pepper. 
How did you make life beautiful today? 

I'm linking to:


  1. thats neat with the sugar but u could havecalled me cuz i had allspice :)--amanda

  2. it is neat that u came up with a fix for allspice cuz id have be like i cant make them tonight got to get not creative lol ---amanda

  3. Amanda- I can't believe I didn't think of it! Maybe next time I run out of the fake stuff I'll remember to ask ;)


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