Swedish Pearl Sugar: Take Baking to a Whole New Level!:
There are a LOT of cooking magazines out there, but one I can't do without is Cook's Illustrated. I always learn something new and come away from my reading inspired to cook more and cook better.
For instance, the Nov-Dec 2013 issue talks about Swedish Pearl Sugar. I'm Swedish, but I'd never heard of this before. So what is this stuff?
"Swedish pearl sugar is made by compressing sugar crystals to form larger, round particles that won't dissolve in baked goods." Cook's Illustrated went on to say that this quality makes it perfect as a finishing touch for cookies and sweet breads. These pearls maintain their crunch and shape during baking.
Alright! I didn't need to read further because I love to sprinkle sugar atop my quick breads and sugar cookies, but it always melts into the dough. I've never been able to come up with the look I've been after, but now I can.
The Test Kitchen pros (the folks that produce Cook's Illustrated) suggest we use it as we would turbinado sugar: Sprinkle a few teaspoons onto the tops of muffins, biscuits, cookies, or breads (that are first brushed with beaten egg white) before baking.
So I got some and I even tried rolling my sugar cookie and gingersnap balls in this sugar, and WOW—what a nice treatment. After baking, the cookies came out really sparkly and had a wonderful crunch that combined well with the chewy insides of my recipe. This sugar really does take baking to a whole new level!
If you're interested, IKEA carries it, you'll find lots of sources online for it (including King Arthur Flour), and one popular brand that shows up all over the place is Lars Swedish Pearls. It ranges in price from $2.99 to $8.99, depending on size container (from about 4 ounces to 16 ounces).
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2006