For this little homemade project, I use my tried and true vanilla sugar recipe. I've been making this natural vanilla sugar for years. It's deliciously easy! I always keep it in my kitchen. Stir it into coffee. Use it in baked goods or sprinkle on fresh fruit.
Whole vanilla beans infuse the sugar with divine aroma and taste. The sugar becomes a sweet handmade gift when placed in a nostalgic mason jar and tied with a pretty gingham ribbon. Vanilla sugar and pink gingham, what's not to love?
The vanilla sugar recipe is adapted from Jacques Pepin's
Cookbook, Essential Pepin.
DIY Homemade Vanilla Sugar
Makes 4 Cups
- Put 4 cups of natural cane sugar or white sugar or a mix of both in a bowl. Take 3 whole vanilla beans and with the tip of a knife split the vanilla beans open lengthwise. Scrape the teeny tiny black seeds from the inside of the vanilla beans. Place the soft seeds and the split beans in the sugar. Stir to combine. Store in an airtight container. You can use the sugar at this point or continue on to step two.
- Once the beans are dried in the sugar (this may take a few weeks), remove them and grind them up in a food processor or spice grinder to a fine powder and place the ground beans back into the sugar. Mix to combine. You don't have to do this step, but it does add more delicious vanilla flavor to the sugar.
- Wash and dry one small, 4-inch tall mason jar. Fill the jar with the homemade vanilla sugar. Secure the lid. Cut some pink gingham ribbon. I used Offray brand ribbon. Tie the ribbon around the mason jar in a small bow. Voila! Instant homemade gift! You can also make more than one of these to give as Valentine's Day gifts to your sweeties.