Monday, January 5, 2015

how to make vanilla sugar

I don't use a lot of sugar, but when I do, I usually use vanilla sugar.  Make it myself, of course (as it's so simple).

Here's how:

Take a vanilla pod. Split it in half lengthwise. Put it in a glass jar. Fill the jar with sugar and close the lid.

That's it! This vanilla pod will last forever (especially if it's a good quality one). When I take some vanilla sugar out of this jar (for hot cocoa, coffee, pancakes or baking), I just add some more plain sugar in, and it takes on the aroma.

How to choose good vanilla:

Good vanilla pods are soft, flexible and oily to the touch, dark brown, or even black-brown in color. The best ones have a thin coating of whitish crystals. So if the pod is light in color, hard, opened, or brittle, its quality is low.

Good quality vanilla has a beautiful, incredibly steady aroma (which would stay the same for more than 36 years if the pods are kept right).

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