Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vanilla Sugar (two ways)

Vanilla sugar is granulated or confectioner's sugar to which a vanilla bean has been added. Vanilla sugar can be used in recipes just like regular sugar, with each tablespoon of vanilla sugar providing both a tablespoon of sugar and the flavor equivalent to approximately 1/4 tsp. of quality vanilla extract. Vanilla sugar can add depth and flavor to all of your baked goods, whether you are opting for granulated or powdered sugar.

While vanilla sugar is easily available product to purchase in Europe, those of us in the states have to scour the stores to find it, often coming up empty handed and then opting to buy it online or to make our own.  You want to make it yourself? well from we have two options... the longer more authentic way of making it, or the quicker less expensive way of making it.  The choice is truly yours, while one will taste better, not all of us have the time nor the money to do so.

Making it the authentic way...
1 vanilla bean
2 cups sugar

Slice down side of bean with back of knife and scrape seeds into airtight container with the sugar.
Bury bean in sugar and seal tightly with lid.
Let sit for 1 to 2 weeks. After two weeks you can use as regular, granulated sugar.
(recipe above is from the food network)

If you have leftover bean pods from other recipes that you've been cooking dont throw them away! use them just as above and you'll still get a very tasty vanilla sugar, just not quite as potent as if you had used a whole bean.

Cant afford $7 a for 1 vanilla bean just to make 2 cups of vanilla sugar?

Making it the quicker more economical way...
1 tsp vanilla extract (even though you're cutting costs please use real not artificial)
2 cups sugar

Blend vanilla and sugar in a bowl, once vanilla and sugar are well combined pour out onto a wax paper lined sheet.
Dry mixture for 5 hours.  After mixture is dry press out any lumps or run through a sifter.
Store in an air tight container and use as regular granulated sugar

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