Sweet and Spicy

by Cynthia

The holidays always seem to bring out the baker in me and I absolutely love mulling spices this time of year. They just smell so much like the holidays to me. I also love them because there are so many things you can do with them.

One example is to simply simmer them on the stove to make your house smell warm and inviting. Simmering herbs and spices on the stove also helps add humidity to the home which can be on the dry side during the months when we heat our houses. To use as a simmer simply place about two tablespoons of mulling mix in a small pot with water and bring to a simmer. Add more water as it evaporates.

Another of my favorite uses is to make mulled apple (or cranberry) cider. To do this you add 1-2 tablespoons, depending on taste, of mulling mix to ½ gallon of apple cider (or juice). Simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes. You can also do this with a bottle of red wine and a bit of brown sugar (about one tablespoon) to make mulled wine.  You can either simmer the spices directly in the cider or you can place them in a tea infuser while they simmer. Yet another idea is to place the spice mix in these neat little tea bags that you seal shut with a hot iron. You just fill with the amount you need to make one batch of cider and then seal them shut. No need to strain out the spices when you are done! I think these would make a great gift idea. Just fill several tea bags and place in a mug along with directions for how to make mulled apple cider. You can find the sealable tea bags here.

The recipe is pretty simple and straight forward. You can make as little or as much as you want because it is measured out in parts. One part can equal one tablespoon or it can equal one cup. It is up to you.

Mulling Spice Mix

Mix together:

  • 3 parts cinnamon chips *you can make your own cinnamon chips by breaking up whole cinnamon sticks with a hammer.*
  • 3 parts chopped, dried orange peel *you can make your own by peeling an orange with a vegetable peeler and then allowing them to dry. I like to place them on a sheet in the oven with the light turned on. The light in the oven gives off just enough heat to dry them in about 24 hours.*
  • 2 parts whole allspice berries
  • 1 part whole cloves

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

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