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I'm making cookies that call for beet sugar syrup but I don't think it's available in my country. What can I use in substitute for it?

  • You didn't tell us where you're located. That is especially helpful when you're asking for an ingredient substitution. – Mr. Mascaro Feb 3 '15 at 15:36
  • Also, the substitutions tag would be good. – Catija Feb 3 '15 at 17:31
  • @Catija If you want to edit a question (including retagging) just go for it - it'll go into the suggested edit queue and get reviewed. – Cascabel Feb 3 '15 at 18:11
  • @Jefromi It wouldn't let me because I wasn't making 10 characters of change to the question but I will try again. – Catija Feb 3 '15 at 18:19
  • @Catija: If your change is deemed "too short" by the system, delete a random word and write it again. – Stephie Feb 3 '15 at 20:57
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My first reaction was to think that beet sugar syrup was just simple syrup, since beet sugar is just regular sugar, but I looked around and discovered that I was wrong.

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The reviewers on Amazon likened the flavor to that of raisins, and suggest molasses, AKA treacle (not blackstrap molasses, use a lighter variety), as the best substitute. If the molasses flavor seems a bit strong, try mixing it with a bit of corn syrup, preferably dark corn syrup.

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Sweetened tamarind syrup could be a good substitute.

It has much of the fruity flavor of beet sugar syrup, but also some spice.

It would be a much better substitute than molasses, but a bit of a do-it-yourself project.

Tamarind is widely available especially in places where molasses wouldn't be.

  • Sweetened with refined sugar, I guess? – Cascabel Feb 3 '15 at 19:02
  • Any sweetener would do. I think honey would be an especially nice choice if cost isn't an issue. – Mr. Mascaro Feb 3 '15 at 21:05
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How much do you need? I dont know if this is suitable, but you could try it.

You try macerating your own beet syrup.

A simple macerating recipe:

Combine 2 cups of 1/4 inch diced beets to 3/4 cup of cane sugar, and 3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Fold it over until everything is wet, let it stand in its own juices for a minimum of 2 hours. Strain off the syrup. I think you might get a half cup of syrup.

You'll have to experiment because I haven't done this with hard root veg before, just softer fruits, but it might be your trick and also a way to get down to even more from scratch if that's your thing.

EDIT: Adding some more here.

I just learned how they make beet syrup, and I am modifying it for the kitchen here based on my other hands-on experiences extracting juices from hard fruit (sp. apples).

1) Boil the beet (white beets produce the most sugar but also impart the least flavor)

2) grind the beet (you can use a meat grinder, or a modified sinkerator ala home cider grinding, or dice, bag and pulverize with a mallet.

3) add beet pulp to heavy cheese cloth, put "cheese" between two pieces of hardwood plywood planking, and use 3 or 4 C clamps to squeeze the juice out.

4) don't forget to catch the juice :)

5) reduce the juice down by simmering until it's the thickness and consistency you are looking for.

Yeah yeah, I know this is a lot of work. As you guys get to know me though, I like to from scratch as much as I can. It can also be a fun project for someone to learn how something is made and to make it once or twice then return to using a shelf product.

Anyway, don't down vote me for that. If you need a thing that's hard to get, sometimes the only way to get it is to make it yourself.

  • Are you saying beets have the same flavor as sugar beets? – Cascabel Feb 3 '15 at 19:24
  • @Jefromi, Sugar beets are just an especially sweet cultivar of beet that's more efficient to extract sugar from. The base flavors are pretty much the same. – Mr. Mascaro Feb 3 '15 at 21:06
  • I've never tasted sugar beets, but I do know that when you select cultivars like that the flavor can change pretty drastically. Just look at all the Brassica oleracea cultivars - you wouldn't necessarily expect them to all make good flavor substitutes. – Cascabel Feb 3 '15 at 21:18
  • @jbarker2160 The other thing to keep in mind is that by the time you process something down into a thick sugar syrup, you tend to lose some of the complex flavors as well, so even fresh sugar beet infused into pure sugar syrup might taste very different from sugar beet syrup. – Cascabel Feb 3 '15 at 21:21
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    In general, don't worry too much about downvotes, though. It's just a single person's opinion. (Also if you're eager to post things like this, feel free to just ask questions and answer them yourself!) – Cascabel Feb 3 '15 at 21:54

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