This quick DIY comes from nifty thrifty things and would make a great last-minute gift for someone who likes a little bit of sweet in their tea. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s something you can customize with your own flair, and, my favourite: it’s as cheap as you want it to be.
The basic ingredients you need for this are crystallized sugar and water, though you can dress the sugar and water up as much as you want. Here I have an organic coconut sugar, which adds a bit of flavour to things you sweeten.
Grab your sugar, a small bowl of water, another small bowl for mixing, and a pretty ice cube tray or candy mold. And some wee tea spoons.
Pour about 1/2 cup of the sugar into the mixing bowl, and use one of the tea spoons to dribble a little bit of water onto the sugar. Like, very little. Mix it in with the other spoon. Keep adding a little bit more at a time, a few drops here and there, until you kind of have a sugar paste, but the sugar has not yet dissolved. If you get that far, then you’ve gone too far.
Spoon the sugar paste into the ice cube tray or candy mold and press it down with your fingers to compact it. Then do the whole thing again until you’ve filled up the entire tray.
I spritzed a bit of water on the top of this tray to tamp things down a bit.
Leave that to dry overnight, then pop the cubes out and enjoy! Make sure they’re totally dry before you remove them, or they will crumble …
Other options: if you’ve ever made vanilla sugar before, by whazzing a dried vanilla bean with granulated sugar in a food processor and leaving it to “steep” for a week or so, then I’m sure you’d love the option of making vanilla sugar into cubes.
Another idea would be lavender sugar, which you make the same way as vanilla sugar (but with lavender flowers, silly, not vanilla beans). I added 2 drops pink and 2 drops blue food colouring to make it purply.
You could also do this with brown sugar, as opposed to white sugar, though the darker the sugar is the less water I would use, as it’s already pretty sticky with molasses.
Finally, what about changing up the water options? You can use rose water or orange blossom water instead of regular water to add a lovely aroma to your sugar cubes. I added a drop of food colouring to the rose water to add a tint to the cubes.