Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Food

December 13, 2011

Homemade syrups can be enjoyed long after the holdiays

ASHLAND — Most say they’d prefer to receive a homemade gift for Christmas. Here’s a tasty idea for a homemade gift from the Culinary Institute of America: flavored syrup.

Festively decorated with fabric and ribbon, homemade syrup is that little something special that goes a long way. Family and friends can enjoy it at breakfast, serve it over ice cream, and even use it to flavor drinks long after the holidays are over.

“All you need to make homemade syrup is sugar, dried fruits, water and your favorite spirit; you can even add things like nuts or fresh cranberries,” CIA Maître d’ Instructor Doug Miller said. “If alcohol content is a concern, adjust the amount by cooking it off or adding it in toward the end of the cooking process. Or, you can simply leave the alcohol out.”

Put a personal touch into the gifts by thinking about which type of syrup your friends and family will most enjoy. Traditional maple syrup lovers will simply adore stirring Cranberry-Apple Brandy Syrup into their oatmeal or pouring it on their pancakes and waffles. Folks who dream of beaches and tropical cocktails can top a dish of ice cream with Tropical Fruit and Coconut Syrup. And Pumpkin Syrup is ideal for someone who wants to make a cold winter day special — it can be used to spice up anything from cocktails to coffee.

One of the best things about homemade items is you have the option of making a few extra to keep on hand for those “emergency” situations when you need to give an unexpected holiday gift.

CRANBERRY-APPLE BRANDY SYRUP

Yield: Three 8-ounce jars

1 cup brown sugar

1⁄2 cup water

1 tablespoon raisins

1 tablespoon cranberries

3 pieces dried apples

3 pieces dried plums

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup bourbon, rum or brandy

Heat brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat until the sugar melts.

Add the raisins, cranberries, dried apples, dried plums, honey, vanilla extract, and brandy, and simmer for five minutes.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Fill about one half of a Mason jar with the fruit from the syrup. Pour the liquid syrup over top of the fruit, place the lid on the jar, and screw down the top.

Nutrition analysis per 1-ounce serving: 60 calories, 0g protein, 12g carbohydrate, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber.

TROPICAL FRUIT AND COCONUT SYRUP

Yield: Three 8-ounce jars

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup water

1⁄4 cup dried mango

1⁄4 cup dried papaya

1⁄4 cup coconut flakes

1 cup coconut rum or dark rum

Heat brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar melts.

Add mango, papaya, coconut flakes, and rum, and simmer for five minutes.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Fill about one half of a Mason jar with the fruit from the syrup. Pour the liquid syrup over top of the fruit, place the lid on the jar, and screw down the top.

Nutrition Analysis per 1-ounce serving: 70 calories, 0g protein, 12g carbohydrate, 0g fat, 5mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber.

PUMPKIN SYRUP

Yield: Three 8-ounce jars

2 cups pumpkin meat or one small can of pumpkin

3 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg

1⁄8 teaspoon mace

1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to a soft boil for three minutes, remove from the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Fill about one half of a Mason jar with the fruit from the syrup. Pour the liquid syrup over top of the fruit, place the lid on the jar, and screw down the top.

Nutrition Analysis per 1-ounce serving: 20 calories, 0g protein, 5g carbohydrate, 0g fat, 5mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber.

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These ready-to-make gifts are from Culinary.net.

HOT COCOA MIX

IN A JAR

6 cups Nestle Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

11⁄2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa

11⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows (optional)

Combine dry milk, sugar, cocoa and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour into 2-quart jar or tall container. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.

Recipe To Attach: Measure 1⁄2 cup cocoa mix into mug. Stir in 1 cup boiling water. Makes 12 servings.

SOURCE: Nestle Baking Products

OATMEAL-CHIP COOKIE MIX IN A JAR

2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄3 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄3 cup granulated sugar

3⁄4 cup Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate or Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

11⁄2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1⁄2 cup chopped nuts

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-quart jar. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.

Recipe To Attach: Beat 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie mix; mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 375ø F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

SOURCE: Nestle Baking Products

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send e-mail to lward@dailyindependent.com.



 

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