Tuesday, December 1, 2009

24 Days of Christmas: Day 1. Vanilla Sugar

I am going to attempt to post something handmade every day leading up to Christmas. We'll see how well this goes! I'll probably have to cheat and post other people's handmade stuff a few times, I have a whole pile of things I got via trades I haven't blogged yet.

Today's post is a very simple but lovely gift that is easy to make. Take a nice jar. Fill halfway with sugar. Add a vanilla bean. Fill the rest of the way with sugar. Let sit for at least 2 weeks. Bam, you have vanilla sugar.

The really nice thing is if you use fresh vanilla beans, they will continue to flavour the sugar for up to year, you just add more sugar as you use it. The smell when you take off the lid is just amazing - great for adding a bit of vanilla flavour to coffee or tea. Or in a recipe that calls for vanilla extract, replace 3 tablespoons of regular sugar with vanilla sugar to replace 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

You can buy bulk vanilla beans on eBay (really!), and if you happen to have a collection of empty mason jars, this is an inexpensive gift. I'm going to print information about vanilla sugar and how to use it on cardstock and use these for a few people on my Christmas gift list.

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