Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Infuse the Holiday Season with Flavor


Photo by Lee Sherman
I’ve been a fan of Sonoma Syrup Co. ever since I discovered the brand at the Winter Fancy Food Show 15 years ago. Bursting with bright flavor, Sonoma Syrup Co.’s infused syrups are made with fresh ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Over the years I’ve written about them and their founder for KQED's Bay Area Bites, over at SF Station, and on my blog. Because of my long relationship with the company, I’m happy to partner with them to share some of the ways I love using them the most.

While infused simple syrups are a great everyday ingredient that adds pizzazz to everything from iced tea to cocktails, they are particularly wonderful for entertaining. During the holiday season, we all want easy ways to impress family and guests, and Sonoma Syrup infused simple syrups fit the bill perfectly. Here are three great ways to boost the flavor at your holiday gatherings. 

1. Breakfast and Brunch 
Whether it’s Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas day or New Year’s day, an easy way to satisfy your guests is with a brunch buffet. Even if you’re just using pancake mix, a little infused simple syrup will make your crepes, waffles or pancakes special. Simply add a tablespoon or two in place of other liquids such as milk or water. I’ve also added it to the batter for French toast but it’s also good as a topping. Offer guests a selection of different infused simple syrups to drizzle on their hot cereal instead of brown sugar or make Toasted Vanilla Coconut Oats from Toot Sweetness. 

2. Winter Drinks 
The first thing I ever made with Sonoma Syrup was a sparkling cocktail with Sonoma Syrups lavender simple syrup and sparkling wine. It couldn’t have been easier, just a splash of simple syrup in a glass that was then filled with sparkling wine. It took something already festive—bubbles—and made it even more fun. With raspberry syrup you could also make a pretty Raspberry Champagne Spritzer from Design, Eat, Repeat.  

Simple syrups were originally designed for use in cocktails, but they are also great to sweeten any kind of drinks—alcoholic or not. Consider vanilla almond syrup in hot chocolate, Meyer lemon syrup in tea, white ginger syrup in hot apple cider or lavender syrup in coffee. Of course, there’s also Vanilla Egg Nog from Cali Girl Cooking. 

3. Desserts 
Let’s face it, holiday season is dessert season. There is no Thanksgiving without pie and no Christmas without cookies. There are so many ways to use Sonoma Syrup flavored simple syrups in baked goods and desserts of all kinds. The easiest might be as a sweetener in whipped cream. Vanilla, vanilla almond or white ginger are great flavors to complement pumpkin pie, gingerbread and apple pie. 

Bakers recommend using simple syrup on cake layers to keep it moist. Use a pastry brush to coat each layer before frosting. Infused simple syrup also is the key to making the easiest 2 ingredient glazes. Combine 1/4 cup of infused simple syrup with a cup of powdered sugar to make an icing or glaze to go on cakes or cookies. Try the glaze on cinnamon buns or on to turn a plain pound cake into Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. My thanks to Sonoma Syrup Co. for partnering with me.