St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away. To be honest I don’t usually celebrate it because I am not Irish, I don’t drink and I usually forget it is even coming. This year though, I actually remembered it beforehand and decided to make a little something that I can give to my Irish (or Irish-for-the-day) friends.
You may know from some of my former posts that I like to make decorated sugar cubes for holidays such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I thought about doing that for St. Patrick’s Day as well but then came up with another idea. Why not use a candy mold and make my own shaped sugar cubes instead?
So I pulled out a shamrock shaped candy mold and my canister of granulated sugar and started playing around. Here is what I came up with:
I cut wedges out of some of them so that they could rest on the cup rims. I also got creative and flavored some of them with extracts. The dark green ones are mint flavored and the ivory ones are vanilla flavored.
This was such a quick and easy project. The most time consuming part was cutting out the wedges in the sugars that rest on the cups, so I ended up just making most of them without wedges.
I found these little rectangular baking cups in the Easter section at Walmart and I thought they would be perfect to package up the sugars in for gifts.
They were a little too deep so I cut a piece of ½” foam board and placed it in the bottom of the cup before packing in three of each sugar cube. I then took a plastic sealable sandwich bag, cut the zipper top off of it and stuck the baking cup in the bag. I used a clear small hair band to close the top and then tied a little white ribbon around it. It made such a cute little gift.
Here is how you make the sugars:
First you need a candy mold. My mold had cavities for 1″ sized shamrocks, which were the perfect size because each shamrock used 3 grams of sugar, the same amount of sugar that is in a traditional sugar cube.
You will also need 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of liquids. Your liquid can be all water for a traditional white, unflavored cube, or you can make it a mixture of food coloring and/or extracts if you want to add color and flavor.
If you want to add extracts for flavoring you should use about half water and half extract, so a 1/2 teaspoon of each. Be careful with food coloring. Start by adding just a drop or two and then see if you want more. The amount you need will depend on how dark you want your color and what brand of food coloring you are using. I used Americolor Leaf Green and only used about 2 drops for the lighter green shamrocks and around 4 or 5 for the darker green ones.
To make the cubes, combine the sugar and liquids in a bowl. Use a spoon to mix them well, smashing the sugar into the liquid, until the mixture resembles damp sand. You don’t want it too wet but you want to make sure that it is damp enough to hold together well.
Next, fill a heaping 1/2 teaspoon and drop the sugar mixture into your mold cavities.
Use your finger to pack the sugar tightly into the mold. Wipe any excess away.
If you are only doing one tray of sugars, you can allow the sugar to stay in the mold and harden over night. But, if you want to do several trays, you can remove the sugars from the mold and make more. To do this, take a cake board and lay it on top of the candy mold. Hold the mold tightly against the board and flip it over.
Lift the mold off the surface a little and use your finger to tap on the individual cavities until the sugar pops out.
Allow the sugars to set overnight and dry completely.
Once they are dry, you can use the side of a toothpick to sand off rough edges if needed.
Here are the finished sugar cubes.
If you want to make wedges in them, so that they can rest on the rim of your cup, you will need to do this while they are still in the mold. Use a small knife to cut two slits on the edge of each sugar. Be careful not to scratch your mold with the knife.
Then use a toothpick to cut across the tops of the slits and scoop out the sugar from in between the slits. The sugar will still be soft so it will move around on you but just use your fingers to push it back in place where you want it. I tried waiting until the sugar had hardened more but that just caused the cubes to crumble apart as I was cutting into them.
If you have wedges, you will want to wait at least a couple of hours before trying to remove them from the mold. Ideally, it is best to let them dry in the mold overnight since they are much more fragile and likely to crumble on you when they are released before they are completely dry. Once they are out of the mold and completely dry, you can use a toothpick to sand away at the inside of the wedge if you need to make it a little bigger. Here is what they look like when they are completed.
Such cute little cup ornaments.
There are so many different candy molds on the market that the possibilities for color and shape combinations are endless.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Until next time, God bless and Sweet Dreams.