The Sub: DIY Powdered Sugar

By Aurelia d'Andrea February 11, 2013

Every year during the holidays, I bake a batch of Mexican Wedding Cookies to share with friends and family. They’re so tasty, yet so simple: Just walnuts, flour, butter (or vegan buttery spread), and sugar. It was that last ingredient that tripped me up this year; my recipe called not just for regular granulated sugar, but the powdered variety, too. I’d already begun measuring the ingredients and preheating the oven when I realized I’d forgotten to buy powdered sugar.

I thought about making a dash to the store, but when I peered out the window, it  was as if I were peering into one of those little snow globes that’s just been given a good shake. That’s when I decided to come up with Plan B.

So, what exactly is the stuff colloquially known as powdered sugar? (Cooks also call it “icing sugar” or “confectioner’s sugar.”) The clues are right there in its name: It’s simply sugar that’s been ground into a fine, white powder. Nothing particularly rocket-sciencey about it, right?

As an experiment, I pulled the regular sugar out from the cabinet, dumped a cupful in a bowl, and went at it with my immersion blender.  In one minute flat, I had a cupful of powdered sugar, and fifteen minutes later, I was rolling warm-from-the-oven cookies in it. The results were identical to batches of cookies past made with authentic, store-bought powdered sugar, and didn’t require a hike in the snow.

Since then, I’ve blended a second batch of powdered sugar into which I’ve added a bit of corn starch (1 tsp. per cup of sugar, to prevent clumping) and a pinch of cinnamon powder (for flavor), that I’ve poured into a shaker can and sprinkle over Sunday-morning French toast.

 


 ABOUT AURELIA D’ANDREA

Veg fashion blogger Aurelia d’Andrea has devoted a disproportionately large portion of her life to scouring thrift stores, vintage boutiques, and flea markets in search of sartorial treasures, and has a closet full of frocks to prove her passion for the hunt. Going veg taught her to sharpen her style skills, and confirmed what she’d suspected all along: It really is possible to develop a fashionable point of view and keep your ethics intact, too.  She lives in Paris where she blogs (My Vegan Parisian Aventure), writes books (Moon Living Abroad in France), and eats way too many carbs.

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