A quick story for my fellow eaters!
After a few minutes of being awake yesterday, I noticed two things 1) It's still winter and 2) I'm hungry. I knew that my sister had gotten a waffle iron as a present, so I texted her (even though she was in the very next room) and said "We should make waffles, I'll make some syrup" (I didn't want to get out from under my covers until there was a plan).
I got down to the beautiful kitchen and decided what I would do. After a bit my Sister came down and we began to cook together. As much as this may sound as if I am being a sap (because I am)- It was really enjoyable. It had been quite a long time since we had cooked together, with me, being away for most of the year. I remember her making pancakes one Saturday morning when we were much younger. I helped by getting the plates, utensils, and juice ready since I wasn't very stove savvy at that age. I remember the warmth of feeling I had towards my sister as we ate, and the sense of pride in having "helped make" breakfast, just the two of us! (Not that I ever told her that, I'm the sap in the family!). Yesterday morning it kind of felt like that again (but with us being older and me being able to cook now...and with coffee!). I love my sister and I love to cook, so the fact that we could do it together was wonderful for me!
Okay, story time is over. On to the cooking!
Anyways, I had had this idea all night: I wanted to make syrup. So, I decided I would. I already knew how to make a simple syrup for the purpose of mixing into drinks (It works well when making large containers of brewed iced tea!) so this should be easy! (..and it was)
Simple Syrup (for use in drinks):
1 Part Sugar
1 Part Water
2 Part Sugar
1 Part Water
Combine sugar and water in a medium sauce pan. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until all the sugar granules have dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool before using.
For waffles, though, I figured the syrup would have to be a bit more thick than one used for drinking purposes but I didn't want to make it TOO sweet. I also wanted it to be more than just liquid sugar. For these reasons, I decided to use the 1Part Sugar, 1 Part Water ratio and add an extra one-third of a cup of Sugar (next time I may go with a 2 parts sugar, 1 part water ratio just to check it out), a few pinches of Cinnamon, and a dash of Amaretto.
I ended up making the most delicious and warming syrup I have ever tasted. The amaretto gave the syrup a rich almond and fruit flavor and the cinnamon added warmth and a bit of spice. After drizzling the syrup over top of our waffles, and sitting down to eat, it was like being kids again, just more "grown- up".
The Cinnamon Amaretto Syrup tastes amazing over waffles, and probably on pancakes as well, but I wouldn't hesitate to drizzle it over vanilla ice cream, or other desserts. I also plan to try making an Italian style soda with this syrup!
The thing to remember about Simple Syrup is that you can add almost anything to it for flavor! Try different extracts such as vanilla, or fruit oils used for cooking, try herbs such as mint, use edible flowers such as hibiscus or rose, add spice with things like ginger root or cinnamon sticks. Another way to have fun is by using different types of sugar; try brown, or raw sugar for a different taste. Store any extra syrup in a airtight glass jar in the refrigerator.
Just two warnings though: 1) If you are going to use an extract or oil of any kind: add only a drop or two at a time. Extracts are very concentrated and if you add too much it will ruin the taste of your syrup 2) While cooking Simple Syrup use only METAL or WOODEN utensils, wooden is best in my opinion. Sugar gets very, very hot and WILL melt any plastic utensil you use. If you need to taste test your syrup, dip a clean, dry metal teaspoon in and then out, wait for a bit, blow on it, and then taste it. Be careful as it will be very hot!
I love making Simple Syrup, because it is just that- Simple ...and so delicious! I guarantee that you will see more Simple Syrup recipes on this blog in the near future!