How to Make Icing Sugar

IMG_3296.JPGSince I lost half of the blog post I’m currently writing thanks to the errancy of computers, I’ll post a simple but handy tip today about icing sugar. It also goes by the names confectioner’s sugar and powdered sugar. I never finish a bag of store bought icing sugar, so I never buy it. Sometimes though, there are recipes that call for icing sugar to make up a sweet frosting. And of course, it is always nice add a light sweetness and decorate a dessert with a sprinkle of the powdery stuff.

So what is icing sugar? From my research (aka, Google), it is basically ground up sugar combined with an agent such as cornstarch. So what that means is, it is very easy to make your own at home, and in small quantities that last a sufficiently long time too. I’ve been making mine in a blender (a Magic Bullet would work), but you can also use a mortar and pestle.

Since I don’t have corn starch, I substituted barley flour. Barley flour is a very light flour known for its light and fluffy texture in baking (it doesn’t hold its shape very well, so beware how much you use in conjunction with all purpose flour in cookie making). Barley flour also has a distinct flavor to it. I like the scent, and I find it to be on the sweet side, although distinctly so. However, I’m sure you can substitute it for another flour, or cornstarch if you have it. I haven’t experimented with all purpose yet – since I chose barley over all purpose due to its lightness – but I imagine it would work too.

Per 1 cup of icing sugar, you will need:
– 1/2 tbsp barley flour (you can get a cup’s worth at bulk food stores)
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tsp molasses (optional – if you would like to add a hint of molasses, you can do so by using brown sugar or fluffing it up in the granulated sugar first. You can create your own brown sugar here. Icing sugar with a hint of barley and molasses actually doesn’t look that brown, retaining its light hue, but takes on a slightly more complex, but lovely taste).

Blend it all together and voila! You have yourself some icing sugar. Place any leftovers in a bowl and seal with cling film.


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