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Colored sugars used to decorate fancy desserts can cost a bundle. Sold in pretty little 2-to-5 ounce bottles -- at some gourmet shops it works out to a whopping $25 a pound!

But they're easy to make right at home, plus you can create your own custom colors, and do it for mere pennies! (and you can find more cool stuff at my site: www.TamaraCentral.com)

Here's what you'll need:

Crystal Sugar (also called 'sanding sugar' -- characterized by large granules)
Food coloring (paste or liquid)
Bowls
Spoons or Forks for mixing

Small salt shakers -- optional

Step 1: Measure, Color, Mix

Measure out the sugar you'll need for each color -- usually 1/4 cup or less.

Add food coloring. Begin with a small amount, just a drop at a time. You can always add more color if you want a deeper hue.

The liquid food coloring blends more quickly, but the paste gives richer hues. Experiment. Add the color a little bit at a time – it doesn’t take much. 'Knead' the sugar through your fingers or mix with a fork until color is evenly distributed.

Step 2: Dry (if Necessary)

If you've added a large amount of liquid color, you may need to dry the sugar so it doesn't clump. Sprinkle the colored sugar on a foil-covered cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for five to ten minutes, until sugar is completely dry.

Step 3: Pour Into Shakers

If you're using salt shakers to store your new sugar, make sure your shakers have holes large enough for your sugar crystals to fit through when shaking.

Using a funnel, pour sugar into shakers. Alternatively, store in ziploc bags.

Step 4: Display, Use, Give, Enjoy!

Place an array of sugars on a small plate to give as a gourmet gift for a foodie, or use at your next cookie decorating party.

More cool stuff at my website (and blog):
www.TamaraCentral.com

Thanks people!!

<p>nice, great idea!</p>
Thank you!
<p>Can't wait for an opportunity to try this! Great 'ible :)</p>
<p>Thanks!!</p>
<p>Cool idea! I love how they look all lined up like that.</p>
Congratulations on your runner up prize win in the play with you food contest!
Aw thanks! I will wear my t-shirt proudly. And more Instructibles coming from lil' ol' me soon! Thanks!!
Great idea! =) Must try it as soon as the stores open.
Hi, nice 'ible. I made some last week for cake pops using gel colouring. It takes some mixing but comes out well once completed. Just persevere in mixing the little lumps.
simple but clever
Love this! It's so simple but clever! Nice job op!
Awesome this is gonna save me a bundle! great instructable <br>
Wonderful idea! So simple and so brilliant :D

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Bio: Craft Maniac, Food Geek, Celebration Enthusiast, All-Around Funsational Gal
More by TamaraBerg:Easy Rainbow Cookies Fabulous Fabric Flowers  Floral Head Wreaths -- a Midsummer Tradition 
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