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)
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.