Mary Poppins says that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but I find that a spoonful of vanilla sugar helps my morning cup of coffee go down, in the most delightful way.
What is vanilla sugar you ask? Vanilla sugar is simply granulated sugar combined with a few sliced open vanilla beans. And the sugar absorbs the exotic fruity flavor of the vanilla beans in a matter of days, although a week is ideal. I use vanilla sugar in my coffee, baked goods, and sprinkled over fresh berries. It’s a simple way to enhance the flavor of your cooking.
I buy my favorite vanilla beans at Costco for less than ten dollars for a full year’s supply. And after I scrape the seeds out for a recipe, I press the leftover pod into the sugar.
Now, I want you to do me a favor. Go look in your spice cabinet. Do you see the fake bottle of vanilla on the shelf? Now pick it up and as fast as you can, throw it in the trash! Ok. That’s better. Now go buy yourself some real vanilla extract or better yet, buy some vanilla beans and press them into your sugar canister. You can thank me later.
Tip: Vanilla sugar in a canning jar makes an adorable and useful holiday gift.