It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve been buying my vanilla beans in bulk. It’s so wonderful to have them on hand for any recipe that calls for vanilla, and to see those gorgeous flecks of vanilla bean speckled throughout whatever it is I’ve made. I take pride in making my own vanilla extract, such better quality than the stuff from the store, and so much more economical. $5 for a little bottle…say whaaaa?
But, I think my favorite thing to do with them is also one of the most simple. Whenever I have used beans in which I’ve scraped the seeds from, I toss the spent pods into a Mason Jar filled with sugar. There’s still lots of great flavor in the beans, and it infuses the sugar with all the deliciousness of the vanilla. It’s absolutely wonderful stirred into a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Makes a wonderful vanilla simple syrup. On top of creme brûlée, or anything brûléed for that matter. Not to mention it looks so pretty sitting on my pantry shelf…
Don’t you just love these limited edition Ball Heritage Jars? Mason jars have always been my go-to for food storage in the kitchen – so useful and practical. But these gorgeous jars that Ball has come out with for their 100th anniversary are just simply lovely to look at! I’ve always loved the old jars with the blue tint, and enjoy seeking them out at yard sales and flea markets. But to have some that are actually usable? So cool! The good folks at Ball have offered to give a case (set of 6 pint jars with lids) away to a lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment telling us what’s your favorite use for a Ball jar? In the kitchen, or anywhere. Contest runs today through June 26th at 11:59 PM EST.
DIY Vanilla Sugar
3 vanilla beans, split and scraped
2 cups granulated sugar
Place sugar in airtight container, place beans the the container with the sugar. Cover with lid and give a few shakes to cover beans with sugar on all sides. Let sit for 1 week before using. Keep replenishing with used vanilla bean pods and additional sugar as needed.
Disclaimer: I received a case of Ball Heritage pint jars to review at no cost. As always, all opinions are my own.