Sunday, September 5, 2010

Vanilla Sugar

The weather is starting to cool down, and for most people that means they will turn their ovens back on to bake.  Me, I've been baking all summer, but I do appreciate the coolers temps. I have an abundance a sweet treats for the fall and holidays, and a lot of them will include vanilla sugar.  So you ask, what is vanilla sugar???? It's exactly what it sounds like, sugar infused with vanilla flavor.  It can be purchased at those wonderful high end cooking stores. You know, the stores I walk through but really can't afford. But vanilla sugar can also be made right in your own kitchen very simply.

I decided to give this idea early because it really does take a couple of weeks for the flavor to infuse thoroughly.  I also have a lot of ways to use it come this holiday season as gift ideas. Around November I will do a complete list of how to gift vanilla sugar with incredibly cute packaging ideas. For now, let's just get some made. Once you have vanilla sugar in stock in your pantry, use it in baking where you would use plain white sugar.

You'll need:

Vanilla Beans (I got them at Williams & Sonoma, but McCormick sells them too in the spice aisle)
Air tight plastic or glass container

This is really simple, so here goes. Simply measure out 2 to 3 cups of sugar and place it in a container.  Then cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, and run your knife down the vanilla bean to scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and vanilla bean into the sugar and stir around a bit.  Bury the bean in the sugar and place the lid on it.  For best results, leave sit for 3 to 4 weeks.

Next week, I teach you how to make your own vanilla. Again very simple.

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