This isn't a recipe so much as it is a method. If you keep coarse sugar (turbinado, or AA-grade large crystal coarse sugar) around and don't want to buy colored sugar, this is the method for making colored sanding sugar-- gel food dye is the best for this but I also included instructions for the liquid food coloring you can pick up in most grocery stores. (1 serving = 1 tablespoon)
- If using the GEL METHOD:.
- Put the sugar into a bowl.
- On a spoon, put a little dab of the color(s) you want to use. A little goes a long way; gel colors stain much more deeply than liquid.
- With a toothpick or the tines of a fork, mix the dab with a few drops of water-- no more than 4-5 drops of so. Be really careful with this step because if there's too little water, it won't diffuse enough. Too much water and the color won't stick. I like using a medicine dropper for this.
- Carefully stir the spoon into the bowl of sugar, mixing thoroughly.
- Shake the bowl occasionally to properly disperse the coloring.
- Let the bowl of sugar sit in a safe area that is cool and dry for at least 10 minutes so the color can dry.
- If using the LIQUID METHOD:.
- How many drops you use determine how deep you'd like the color to be or how many are required to get a certain hue. About 4-5 are medium shade depending on which one you use, ie you only need about 2 or 3 of red to get pink but about 8-10 for red.
- Put the drops on a spoon, and mix thoroughly through the bowl of corase sugar.
- Shake the bowl a few times to disperse all the dye. If it looks like "spotting", add another 2-3 drops of coloring to the spoon and mix again.
- When you are satisfied with the color, let the bowl sit in a cool dry area for about 5-10 minutes to let the color seep in and dry.
- FUN TIPS:.
- For rainbow sugar using the liquid dyes, don't put the dye on the spoon. Randomly put a few drops in the bowl and quickly stir it up, careful not to blend the colors together.
- Put the sugar into separate bowls to get different colors instead of having to buy a whole container of colored sugar if you only want just a little bit.