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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How to Make Vanilla Sugar

Have you ever seen a recipe that called for vanilla sugar and thought, "What the heck is that?" Me too! So I did a little research and found out how to make my own. It's basically just granulated white sugar that's been shacked up with vanilla beans for a while. The measurements don't really matter. It's kinda common sense. Less sugar and more vanilla beans = stronger vanilla flavor. More sugar and fewer vanilla beans = milder vanilla flavor. Here's what I did:

You'll need:
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 air tight container
1 sharp knife


Put the sugar in an air tight container. With a sharp knife split the vanilla bean longways down the middle. Scrape the seeds with the back of the knife. Put the seeds and the pod in the container with the sugar. Shake it to disperse the seeds throughout the sugar. Keep the container seeled for about 2 weeks before using it. After that you can add more sugar and more vanilla beans as needed. It will last for a pretty long time. If it gets clumpy just shake it to break up the clumps.

The awesome thing about vanilla sugar is that you can use it in anything that calls for granulated sugar! You can put it in coffee, tea, cakes, frosting, pies, muffins, cookies, meringue, custard, etc... And it smells so good. I often just open mine to smell it and put it back. :) Just remember when you use it in a recipe that calls for vanilla extract, you should leave the extract out. Otherwise you might end up with vanilla overload! I sometimes use half vanilla sugar and half plain sugar just to be careful. Then I add vanilla extract if it needs more flavor.

13 comments:

Suzy Q-zy said...

is there really such a thing as vanilla overload? hee hee!

Suzy Q-zy said...

ryc: good point! I don't recommend that!
I use mexican vanilla for all my baking. I love love love it! It has a really robust flavor..but yes..not for licking. :)

Lisa said...

Nice post! I make vanilla sugar using the hulls of the vanilla bean after I have scraped the seeds into another yummy recipe. The sugar still gets fragrant and flavorful and it's a great use for a hull that might otherwise get discarded.

Patrizia said...

I LOVE VANILLA! Okay anyway... great post! Beautiful photos too!

I added your blog to mine! I hope you don't mind!

Mara said...

ha ha i was just going to type exactly what suzy said...is there really such a thing as vanilla overload? I LOVE IT.

i used to keep vanilla sugar on hand but i have gotten lax. i love WS's vanilla bean paste though.

L.E.R said...

Vanilla sugar is SO terrific--I just put some of it in plain yogurt and it gives it a great taste. Making hot chocolate with it must be good too... sort of like Mexican hot chocolate I guess but without the cinnamon. Your pictures make me want to go and eat vanilla sugar by the spoonful!

Anonymous said...

Cool. We've been doing this for years. The beans last forever. Just keep adding new sugar. Every few years we add a new bean. My husband has a problem with alcohol in any amount, so we don't have any extracts in the house. I have to use a combination of oils and vanilla sugar.

jitterbugh said...

Thank you sooooo very much for this recipe! Your instructions and photos are pure perfection! I've had several recipes lately that called for vanilla sugar and I have absolutely no clue. I thought I'd have to go to the specialy store but I can't get out and about much right now. Awesome idea!
Sara

CookiePie said...

Lovely pics! I love that you can see the teeny vanilla seeds in the sugar. YUM! Now where did I put those vanilla beans... :)

ivan said...

you could also try cinnamon sticks, rose petals, tangerine peel, or rosemary sprigs to get different types of scented sugar!

Are you flying? said...

I wonder if this would work with that more corse granulated "Raw" sugar? I used to buy that from Spices, etc but they no longer have it. I liked the crunch when it was sprinkled on my plain yogurt. And...I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as vanilla overload..LOL

emerzim said...

I think I have found my Christmas presents. Now I just need to hunt down some cute little jars...

bookmaniac1850 said...

That Christmas gift idea is really awesome! I am probably going to steal it! Cute jars with different sugars in them... GREAT IDEA! I cannot wait to make some vanilla sugar of my own and try it. Thanks!