This category includes various syrups, honey, and molasses.
This is a thick, sweet syrup that's popular in America, but hard to find in other countries. Unlike other sweeteners, corn syrup doesn't crystallize and turn grainy when it's cold, so it's a good choice for frostings, fudge sauces, and candies. Baked goods made with corn syrup are moister and stay fresher longer than those made with sugar. There are two types: dark corn syrup is dark brown and has a slight molasses flavor, while light corn syrup is almost clear and has a more delicate flavor. The two can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Karo is a well-known brand. Store corn syrup at room temperature.Learn more
These are often used to flavor Italian sodas or coffee. They come in dozens of flavors, but some of the most popular are vanilla, almond, raspberry, Irish cream, and hazelnut. Popular brands include d'Arbo, Monin, and Torani. To make your own: Make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water, then add flavored extract to taste. Store in the refrigerator.Learn more
This is a thick liquid sweetener that's produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. There are over 300 kinds of honey, most of them named after the principal nectar source (e.g., clover honey, eucalyptus honey). These varieties range in color from almost white to amber to dark brown. As a rule of thumb, the lighter the color of the honey, the milder the flavor. You shouldn't feed honey to babies younger than one year--it could cause infant botulism. Store honey in a cool, dark place, where it will keep almost indefinitely. If the honey crystallizes, heat it briefly in a pan of hot water or in the microwave. Because the production of honey exploits bees, many vegetarians and vegans refuse to eat it. Popular varieties: Alfalfa honey is a very popular light and mild honey, great for baking or table use. Basswood honey is light in color, but it has a fairly strong flavor. Buckwheat honey is very dark and bold-flavored, so it's not well suited to baking. Clover honey is America's most popular honey, very mild and fine-flavored. Eucalyptus honey, popular in Australia, has a somewhat bold and slightly medicinal flavor. Orange blossom honey is an excellent, mild honey with a delicate flowery flavor. Sage honey is almost white in color, with a mild flavor. Tulip poplar honey is dark, yet mild-tasting. Tupelo honey is highly prized for its distinctive mild flavor; it's also relatively expensive. Wildflower honey has a fairly strong flavor.Learn more
Made from the sap of sugar maples, maple syrup is a traditional topping for pancakes, waffles, and French toast. It's also used to make candies, frostings, candied yams, meat glazes, and baked beans. Lighter syrups usually have a more delicate flavor. Refrigerate after opening. Don't confuse authentic maple syrup with the cheaper and more commonly used pancake syrup, which are based on corn syrup.Learn more
Sugar is made by extracting juice from sugar cane or sugar beets, boiling them, and then extracting the sugar crystals. Molasses is the thick, syrupy residue that's left behind in the vats. It has a sweet, distinctive flavor, and it's a traditional ingredient in such things as gingerbread, baked beans, rye bread, and shoofly pie. There are several different varieties: Unsulfured molasses is what you'll most often find in supermarkets. It's milder and sweeter than sulfured molasses. Sulfured molasses has sulfur dioxide added as a preservative. Light molasses = mild molasses = sweet molasses = Barbados molasses is taken from the first boiling. It's the sweetest and mildest, and is often used as a pancake syrup or a sweetener for beverages. Dark molasses = full molasses = full-flavored molasses is left behind after the juices are boiled a second time. It's less sweet but more flavorful than light molasses, and it's a good choice if a recipe simply calls for molasses. Sugar-beet molasses is very bitter and is mostly used as cattle feed or as a medium for growing yeast. When measuring molasses, grease the cup and utensils to keep molasses from sticking. If your molasses crystallizes while being stored, heat it gently to dissolve the crystals. After opening, you can store molasses in your cupboard.Learn more
This tart Middle Eastern syrup became trendy a few years ago when Western cooks discovered that it adds zing to meat glazes, sauces, and soups. It also makes a wonderful topping for ice cream, and it can be mixed with soda water to make a tasty non-alcoholic drink. Look for bottles of it in Middle Eastern markets or gourmet stores. Store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep almost indefinitely. Don't confuse pomegranate molasses with grenadine, which is much sweeter.Learn more
This is a mixture of sugar and water that's brought to a boil and simmered for about five minutes so that the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy. When it cools, it's used to make mixed drinks, liqueurs, baked goods, sorbets, sauces, and many other things. The thickness of the syrup depends upon the ratio of sugar to water used. Many simple syrup recipes call for equal parts sugar and water. For a thinner syrup, combine two parts water with one part sugar. Rock candy syrup, a heavy syrup used to make some liqueurs and mixed drinks, is made with two parts sugar and one part water.Learn more