Sugar: the key ingredient. What would sweets be without the sweet part? As far as granulated sugar goes, Domino is tops. A couple of the five pound tubs are in the pantry at all times, in addition to a few boxes of Confectioners’ Sugar. They also have nice light and dark brown sugar, which I store in a zipper bag to keep fresh. I’ve recently fallen in love with Florida Crystals Organic Brown Sugar and even more so with their Demerara sugar. It gives an awesome and uniquely rich flavor and slightly coarser texture to baked goods. I don’t use it all the time, but when I’m looking to mix things up a little, it’s perfect. It’s also great that their sugar is all produced in America. Grandma’s Robust Molasses has an amazingly deep flavor. I use it every time molasses is called for in a recipe. Highland Sugarworks has really nice Grade A medium amber maple syrup. It has a great flavor and consistency. I’m dying to try Crown Maple Syrup, which seems to be the new favorite among the celebrity chefs, and I’ll let you know when it makes an appearance in my baked goods.
Say what you will about corn syrup, but sometimes there’s simply no substitute. Pecan pie can’t exist without it, and it keeps sugar syrups for frosting workable. I’m actually a big fan of corn syrup, particularly Caro.