The week before last, when I wrote about that delicious zucchini bread, you may have spotted something in one of the photos that looked like decorative pats of butter (and now that I think about it, I may just make decorative pats of butter, but I digress). They weren't pats of butter at all but, brace yourself, homemade sugar cubes! How cool is that? The idea is not mine, but Sue's from The View from Great Island blog. She'd made a few varieties including rose water and lemon, so, being inspired by the clementines that I have in my fridge, I made clementine sugar cubes.
I cannot tell you how wonderful these are. First of all, they are a total breeze to make. Second, cuteness notwithstanding, they are absolutely delicious in both coffee and tea. When I made this clementine variety I was thinking about how much I love Cafe Brulot (a New Orleans after dinner coffee with cinnamon, orange, and orange liqueur), and was not disappointed with the hint of orange sweetness in my morning coffee when I used one of these.
You can add a hint of color from paste food coloring, if you like, but I loved the natural look of the pale orange from the fruit. These are easy and big fun. My Sunday night “Downton Abbey” tea and cakes will be enormously enhanced with the addition of these flavorful sugar cubes. Try them!
Clementine Sugar Cubes
1/2 cup sugar
Zest from an entire clementine (please use organic fruit)
Place the sugar into the work bowl of a food processor (a mini one will do, I actually used a small Ninja blender). Remove zest from clementine using a vegetable peeler to ensure that you get just the zest and none of the bitter pith. Add the zest to the sugar, and process until the rind disappears completely into the sugar.
Spoon the moist sugar into plastic molds and press down into mold firmly. Invert the mold onto a cutting board or piece of parchment paper. Tap it gently, if necessary. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour, to fully harden.
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