Now that the holidays are here in full swing I like to have quick and easy gifts on hand, just in case something comes up last minute. I hate showing up at a holiday party empty handed without a gift for the host so this vanilla sugar is one of those things I like to keep on hand.
Vanilla sugar is not only easy to make, but people really love it. It can be used for baking (it’s really lovely in sugar cookies) or can even be used to stir into coffee or tea – tons of uses, plus it’s original and thoughtful. I throw it into a canning jar and throw on a cute tag or bow.
I usually have a couple cups of vanilla sugar on hand in my kitchen, just in case I want to use it for baking, so this time of year I usually mix up a few more cups and fill up some jars so they are easy to grab and go.
It’s as simple as it sounds, sugar + vanilla beans, that’s it! Since vanilla beans can be pretty expensive when you buy them at local stores (my grocery store charges $8 for 1 vanilla bean!), I like to order mine online in bulk. I can usually get a half pound for about $35 from Amazon – these ones are my favorite.
One extra little kitchen tip – when I’ve scraped out the seeds from a vanilla bean for another recipe, I’ll take the used vanilla bean pod and toss it into my vanilla sugar jar (and sometimes I add a little more sugar to balance it out). It keeps my sugar smelling even more amazing.
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, cut in half lengthwise
- Place sugar in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from both vanilla beans into the sugar. Add in pods once seeds have been removed.
- Using clean hands, massage vanilla bean seeds and pods into the sugar, until vanilla bean has been well distributed. Store vanilla sugar with pods in an airtight container until ready to use.
- To give as gifts, remove vanilla bean pods and portion sugar into small jars.