Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Venusian Pleasures - Homemade Vanilla Sugar and Vanilla Flavoring

Vanilla Sugar

Place 2 lbs granulated sugar in an airtight canister and label with ingredients and date. Bury a whole vanilla bean pod in the sugar. Shake the container every few days. Let steep for 2 months. Use in any recipe calling for granulated sugar as well as in coffee and tea. One pod will flavor three changes of sugar (6 pounds in all) but use only 2 lbs at a time or it'll be a year before the sugar gets flavored. You can then use the pod for things like puddings and mead.

Bourbon Vanilla Flavoring

Split 2 vanilla bean pods and scrape the seeds into a pint of a bourbon that you like to drink, then add the pod halves. Cap tightly. Shake bottle every month or so. Let steep in the back of a dark cabinet for about a year before use. Marvelous in things like eggnog, hot toddies, and bourbon-soaked cakes. Two pods will flavor 2 pints of bourbon. Just refill the original bottle once you've emptied it. Discard the pods after the second batch. Very nice gift.

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