When it comes to gift giving, I am more of a practical person. I like stuff I can use and maybe even re-use over and over again. This past month I came across a deal at Amazon for 1/2 lb. of Madagascar Vanilla Beans for $24 plus free shipping. I sometimes wonder if they price most things just below $25 in order to get you to buy something else… Well, it was a great deal considering vanilla beans in catalogs and the store cost $5 each.
Here are a few fun and useful things you can do with Vanilla Beans:
1. Make Vanilla Extract
3 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka or rum
Directions: Sterilize the jar by boiling it for 10 minutes. Add vodka. Split and scrape the beans. Add the beans to the vodka and shake. Place in a cool, dark place like the back of your pantry. Shake once a week for 2 months! That’s it. I have the kids shake it for fun.
I used Zots to keep the ribbon in place on the 4 oz. jar. I included a tag with instructions to shake once a week. Once you get low on your vanilla extract, just add more vodka! This will keep your extract going and going and going….
2. Make Vanilla Sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups granulated sugar
Directions: Slice the bean down the middle and then scrape the seeds out. Place bean and seeds in a jar with the sugar. Whew that was some hard work!
Uses: coffee, tea, sugar cookie recipe, any recipe that has sugar and vanilla in it, creme brulee, waffles, muffins, candy, rolling cookies in it, dusting donuts or muffins, cocoa, etc.