This chai-infused sugar is the very definition of a “last minute homemade gift idea.” Crush some spices, mix them with some granulated sugar and pour it into a pretty little jar. Boom! You’re done!
Plus, this gift re-gives itself again and again. Just tell your lucky recipients to add more sugar now and then to the spices, and they will have a continuous supply of chai-infused sugar.
In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I have a bit of a chai “problem.”
Well, some people would call it a problem. I call it a deep and abiding love.
I drink chai nearly every day, and I’m constantly brewing up ideas for new chai-flavored recipes (Ha! Brewing…see what I did there?)
This chai-infused sugar might actually be my first chai flavored recipe that doesn’t contain actual tea. But, it is packed full of the spices that make chai what it is, which is really the most important part. Cinnamon, cardamom, pink peppercorns, ginger all come together to lend a warm spiciness to everything you might add this sugar to.
Personally, I’m loving it in my coffee on those days when I want a bit more caffeine, but am missing that chai spice flavor. I also used it in these chai shortbread cookies (and skipped the vanilla and ground tea), and think it would be excellent in scones, brownies, or other cookies, too. I want to try it in hot cocoa next!
Plus, pack it in a pretty jar and you have a DIY food gift that feels decadent and fancy, but is super-simple to make. This gift would be perfect for tea & coffee lovers, creative bakers, and anyone else who is obsessed with all things chai.
Bonus! Once you strain the sugar, you can reuse the spices for another batch or two of sugar to get more bang for your buck. Which means you can make one batch for a gift, and keep one all for yourself. It’s a win-win.
This spicy chai-infused sugar would make a great holiday or hostess gift. Once you strain the sugar, you can reuse the spices for another batch or two of sugar.
- 4 teaspoons whole cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons whole pink peppercorns
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Lightly crush the cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon and cloves with a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one, seal the spices in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. The spices don't need to be completely pulverized - in fact, it is better if they stay in fairly large pieces, because it will make it easier to sift them out later.
- Stir the crushed spices with the ginger and sugar. Store in a glass jar for 3-7 days, depending on how strong you want the flavor of your sugar to be.
- Sift the sugar through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the spices and store in an airtight glass container until ready to use.
This post was updated with new photos and additional text on December 24, 2014.