At some point or the other, most of us must have dusted confectioners sugar on the desserts we prepared, to give final touches to the dish. Read on to find more about this sugar and how it is used.
Let’s begin by talking about what is confectioners sugar. It is nothing but granulated sugar, which is ground mechanically to obtain a powder form. This is also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, and is used to make various dessert toppings like cake frosting, decorative icing, sugar glazes and other sauces.
Confectioners sugar not only provides sweetness to the preparation, but also helps in giving it a thicker consistency. Even though it is made from granulated table sugar, confectioners sugar is not exactly used as a substitute for table sugar.
However, there are other ingredients which are mixed along with powdered sugar like cornstarch, calcium phosphate or wheat flour for various reasons like anti-caking and flowing ability. It is used to prepare only cold glazes and icings and not heated products like sauces, because confectioners sugar can’t withstand longer duration of heat. Mentioned below are a few uses of this sugar.
Confectioners Sugar Icing
It is popularly used to prepare various types of icings for cakes, cookies and other baked desserts. The icing that is prepared from powdered sugar can be as basic as a preparation of milk and confectioners sugar, mixed together and sprinkled on cookies and cakes. But different cake recipes require different colors, flavors and types of icing on them, and this is a type of sugar that is so versatile that it can be used to prepare a wide range of icings. Given below are a few of them. Grab a pen and paper, let’s get started!
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
In a mixing bowl, add all the above mentioned ingredients and beat them together for about 5 minutes either manually or with an electric beater. Add some more milk if you think the powdered sugar icing is slightly thick and then beat again. When you get the desired consistency of the frosting, you can either refrigerate it, and then use, or use immediately as topping for cake and cookie recipes.
Butter Cream Icing
- 3 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- ⅓ cup butter
- 4 tablespoons milk or light cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, add butter, vanilla and salt and beat till you get a smooth fluffy mixture. Then add sugar, cream and milk while you beat the mixture continuously. Add some more milk if you think the icing is not of the desired consistency. You can spread this delicious butter cream icing on cupcakes or cakes.
Glaze is another great preparation of confectioners sugar, used for many bakery products and desserts. This glaze can be simply sprinkled on chocolate donuts, cookies, cakes, breads, braids, etc. Adding a simple glaze to any of these food recipes can alter their tastes, by slightly giving them the sweetness of sugar and at the same time also make them look attractive. If you don’t want to use powdered sugar, there are powdered sugar substitutes which can used. Take a look at the very basic recipe of powdered sugar glaze and how to use it, mentioned below.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
- 2 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup milk or warm water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients and mix them well. You can either beat them with a manual or an electric beater so to achieve the right consistency. Don’t make it as thick as icing, since in case of glaze, you only have to sprinkle it over the desserts. Use it freshly made.
With these great recipes and uses of confectioners sugar, hope you use them in some of your delicious dessert recipes. So go ahead and give that sweet tooth of yours a treat!