So vanilla sugar! What is it and why? well vanilla extract is fairly new to the world of baking (1847) and when it was invented it still wasn’t available everywhere or as cheap as it is now. In fact in Europe it’s much more common as an ingredient than it is here. Now of course you can just use regular sugar and vanilla or vanilla beans in recipes that call for vanilla sugar, but something about the infused sugar just really kicks it up a notch for me
Usually you’d stick the sugar and vanilla beans and seeds in a closed container and let it sit, the longer the better, but sometimes I want it for a recipe and don’t have 2 weeks or longer to wait!
Here is a quick video for you on my shortcut vanilla sugar! It’s SUPER easy to make and use right away with this stonger version (more pods to sugar ratio) I use it up so fast I make a batch, every month or so (and by batch I mean about 4 cups at a time). I like mine a little stronger anyway so if it DOES sit longer I’m find with that too.
You slice them open, but cutting down the length with the BACK of the knife. You use the back of the knife so you don’t cut through both sides. Open the pod up and scrape out the beans. How amazing does this look? Just like if you were using a fresh pod (it just won’t be as “wet”)
Usually to make Vanilla sugar I’d say 1 full pod (scrapped) per cup of Sugar. But if your using the vanilla sugar sooner rather than later you can use 2 full pods scrapped. AND to help it along more than just more vanilla beans I also lace the sugar, scrapped beans and husks in your food processor and blend it up (but not enough to turn the sugar into powdered sugar). It will kick start the infusion!
Keep it in a closed container until your ready to use it (the flavor will just get better and better. When your ready to use it strain out the husks and other stuff. I keep a strained container for my kids to sprinkle on toast. I strain some out in containers for gifts for teachers, roommates at blog conferences and neighbors during the holidays!
Isn’t it pretty? With the vanilla beans speckling the sugar? AND it smells divine! It’s great on toast, and of course in desserts. You can substitute vanilla sugar for sugar in any recipe you want. I use it on these cookies and this cupcake recipe, its great on scones, creme brulee’s, I LOVE it in hot chocolate (I’ve been told it’s good in tea and coffee too)! Mmmmm!
Then I created these labels to stick onto the jars, so the kids teachers and assistant teachers would know what it was! Then I tied on these blank tags and let the kids draw or write a note for each of their teachers. And now we’re all ready for Christmas Gifts and I have a nice size batch for myself!
What else would you like to see me make with leftover vanilla beans?
Neighbor gifts and goodie plate recipes