We often reach for confectioners sugar to add sweetness to a dish. What we overlook is how easy it is to add flavor. You can grind powdered sugar with other ingredients, from nuts to freeze dried fruits to whole spices, in the food processor to create something powdery and flavorful. The cornstarch in the sugar helps absorb any moisture from the other ingredients and keep everything soft and light. Savory blend-ins like Szechuan peppercorns or chile powders actually benefit from a touch of sweetness to balance their spice. Once we make some seasoned sugars we look at what dishes can benefit from a dusting of flavor, and a whole new world opens up.
March 2, 2005