Friday, February 3, 2012

Love is in the air ...

Sugar hearts and Tea sachets

" ... Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay -
Love isn't love, 'til it's given away - " Oscar Hammerstein

This is one of my favorite quotes that really does ring true and in that spirit, I wanted to come up with two sweet gifts that are easy to make and give away to those you love this Valentine's Day.

The first "sweet" gift is the sugar hearts and tea sachets pictured above.  You will love making these and the ingredients are few. How you package them is totally up to you.

How to:
Gather your ingredients.  I am using Domino Organic Sugar because I like the color, the texture and the taste but you can use whatever you like or have on hand.


You will need a few teaspoons of water to wet or dampen the sugar.

Dampened sugar

Stir in  your teaspoons of water one at a time until your sugar begins to look like wet sand like above.

Rolled out sugar

Flatten or roll out your dampened sugar to about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Pat it down.

Cut sugar hearts

Use a small heart shaped fondant or cookie cutter to cut out the heart shapes into the sugar.  You will have to keep patting it down.  Gently remove the heart shaped sugar from the cookie cutter.

Sugar hearts

Once all of your hearts have been cut out, let them sit out on the counter for at least an hour or as I did - overnight.  The sugar will harden and will be ready for packaging.

Sugar and tea sachets ready for packaging

I put six sugar hearts in each tiny bag and stapled a little stamped card stock to the top of the bag for a finished look.  (see the picture at top)

Harney and Son's Fine Teas

I happen to love Harney and Son's fine teas plus they have the most darling little "tag-a-long" tins for gift giving.  Each tin contains 5 gorgeous tea bags in a silken tea sachet.  So beautiful that you almost don't want to dip it in hot water!  You can order these directly from Harney and Sons or they can be found in many places that sell fine teas.

Vanilla Sugar gift

My next little sweet gift is a small jar of vanilla sugar.  It is so easy to make but it smells so divine and tastes so incredible that it shouldn't be this easy. 

How to:

Gather ingredients

Gather your ingredients: Sugar (again, I like to use Domino Organic Sugar), Madagascar Vanilla Beans (From Trader Joe's) and a large jar to hold it all.

Sugar and Beans

Split the beans down the middle (the long way) and place 4 or 5 of the split beans into your canning jar.  Scrape up any extra vanilla seeds into the jar (nothing goes to waste).  Pour sugar into and around the vanilla beans and fill it to the rim.  Close and secure jar and let it sit for a week or two.  The longer it sits, the move the vanilla will perfume and permeate the sugar.

Decant sugar to smaller jars

Decant the sugar to smaller jars for gift giving.  Add a piece of the vanilla beans to each of your smaller jars.  Cut out a little tag and stamp it with a heart and tie on a little bit of twine and voila!  A sweet gift.
This sugar is scrumptious when added to your oatmeal, a cup of coffee or tea, or for the top of a creme brulee.  

Happy February!

See you soon,