Do you have some vanilla beans? Do you have a little sugar? Then you have the power to make a wonderful gourmet condiment called vanilla infused sugar.
It makes the perfect gift because you can put it on everything and anything you’d add sugar to, like coffee, tea, or plain yogurt. You can also use it to bake with; don’t just add regular sugar. add vanilla infused sugar instead. It will give all your baked goods a nice vanilla kick. Oh and go ahead and sprinkle some of top of your baked goods too. That would make your muffins, cakes, cookies and pastries super yummy.
Other uses include adding it to the rim of sweet cocktails, sprinkling some on fresh fruit, adding it to toast, or even better – French toast.
A word about vanilla beans….
There are two grades of vanilla beans. Grade A vanilla beans have more moisture than grade B. Grade A beans have 30 to 35% moisture content while grade B bean have 15 to 25% moisture content. Also, grade A beans are a little longer than grade B beans. For vanilla extract and vanilla infused sugar the low moisture beans are preferred. If you have grade A beans make your infused vanilla sugar and then spread it on a cookie sheet to dry out a bit, to avoid clumps.
Vanilla beans are also grown in different parts of the world so you might see Tahitian vanilla beans, or Madagascar vanilla beans, or Mexican vanilla beans. They all have a slightly different flavor. For extract and infused sugar, I just buy the cheapest beans. If you’re making something like a Creme Brulee then you’ll want to go with a Grade A vanilla bean, then choose which flavor you prefer–floral and fruity (Tahitian), delicate (Madagascar), or rich full body (Mexican).
Quick Vanilla Infused Sugar
- 3 grade B vanilla beans
- 2 cups of sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
- Pint size mason jar
- strainer (optional)
Take vanilla pods and cut in half. Scrape out the beans if you can. Grade B will be drier than Grade A, so if you can’t scrape them out just cut the pod into ¼ inch pieces.
Place sugar, vanilla beans and pods into a food processor or blender. Pulse about 5 times. Transfer sugar mixture to a Mason jar and let it infuse for about a week. Strain out large chunks of vanilla pod (if desired) before giving as a gift. Or you can gift not only the vanilla infused sugar but also the strainer.
Other Methods Of Making Infused Sugar
- Using the same ingredients, take the vanilla pods and slice them down the middle. Scrape out the beans. Place the bean in a blender or food processor. Reserve the pods. Plus 3 or 4 times. Place sugar mixture plus the pods into a Mason jar for 3 to 4 weeks). Remove the pods before gifting.
- Using the same ingredients, cut vanilla pods in half, then slice them. Place sugar in Mason jar and then bury the the pods for 6 to 8 weeks. Remove pods before gifting.
A Non-Gift Option
Sometimes a recipe calls for just the beans of the vanilla and not the pod. Never throw out a pod. Start some aged vanilla infused sugar. Every time you use the beans out of a pod, take the discarded pod and bury it in 2 cups of sugar. Over time you’ll have an aged vanilla infused sugar.