With holiday baking in full swing, my kitchen is powering through sugar and vanilla extract faster than I thought possible (I had a different analogy prepared, but I’ve already offended today). Almost everything that comes out of my oven contains vanilla in some form or another. And lots of it. So when last week’s caramel sauce left two vanilla beans behind, the only warranted next move involved their reincarnation. Whether whole or scraped of the caviar, vanilla beans can make an intensely fragrant and flavored sugar. Because I’m a fiend, I’ll still use extract, but some recipes definitely benefit from the extra dose.
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half and split lengthwise
1. Place a cut vanilla bean into food processor, add sugar and pulse a few times.
2. Transfer to an airtight container and store away. Pretty easy.
The aroma of vanilla will strengthen over time. Just remember to sift the sugar through a small strainer before use. Then add more sugar, and eventually another bean.