I found this recipe on making caramel sugar and it intrigued me. So one lazy weekend, I figured it would be fun to try.
I started with a cup of sugar for each row. I baked in hour increments at 300 degrees. I removed a row after every hour so we could get an idea if it made a difference.
Here are the first 3. However, keeping the oven busy for all that time turned out to be problematic because we had other baking to do. Without thinking, I told my husband he could use the oven while I had my last batch in the oven.
He turned the heat up to 350 which doesn’t seem like much but it quickly developed a problem because my sugar was melting. I pulled out the remainder. I separated the parts that melted from the parts that did not.
It was cool but how to test the sugar. I didn’t have enough to make cookies or anything. What if they made terrible cookies? I figured the best way to test the sugars was to try it in tea.
I pulled out 5 Chinese tea cups because it was the easiest group of same size cups I could get to. Then I realized I needed a control cup – one that had just plain sugar.
Into each cup I put 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup tea and 1 tablespoon milk. I used cardamon black tea because that’s what we like.
Here’s what we realized – after 1 hour of baking the sugar develops a nice extra sweetness. But at 2 and 3 hours, it didn’t feel special. However, once we got to that last hour of sugar (this is the sugar that we nearly overcooked), the flavor was amazing. I preferred the sugar that stayed granulated while my husband rather liked the sugar that had partially melted.
What it made me realize is that it is worth doing this experiment and next time we’ll go for the longer time period.
One note, you’ll see we used a cookie sheet and a silpat. The sugar did not stick to the silpat except for a little of what melted (super easy cleanup though).