This past weekend I finally gathered all the supplies I've been collecting and started the process of making vanilla sugar to give out as holiday gifts. I wasn't able to find a reasonably priced vanilla bean source in town, so I first ordered some delicious Madagascar vanilla beans from spidercamp on Etsy . They smelled so fragrant, I knew what they were before I even opened the envelope! Yum.
I set up camp in the kitchen on a cutting board and split each vanilla bean down the middle. Then, I scraped down the inside of each bean with a paring knife collecting all the tiny seeds. All the seeds went in the jars filled with cane sugar. Then the scraped bean pods went in, too. I've been shaking the jars a bit each day to break up the seeds and redistribute them. I plan to let the sugar absorb the vanilla flavor for a week or so, then I'll remove the beans and break up any remaining clumps of seeds evenly in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. The sugar will then go into little jelly jars and one vanilla bean pod will go into each jar for a little decoration. I made little labels for the jars, too, that I'll print on some adhesive paper. Then, I'll just wrap the jars with some gold ribbon and voila! A little holiday gift ready for giving.