I made vanilla sugar yesterday as Christmas gifts for friends. It's a tradition among my friends to make food and share it around as a small gesture of love and this year I wanted to make something useful too!
So this year I made Bourbon Vanilla Sugar. It is SO easy it's not funny but is SUCH a lovely gift and so appreciated.
1 vanilla bean
1kg caster sugar
1 food processor or blender
jars to store in
double sided tape and another vanilla bean, if you're feeling adventurous
Put the caster sugar in the blender. Slit open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds/caviar. If you're like me, get vanilla goo on your hands and wipe it unstrategically on yourself so you smell like vanilla for the rest of the day and have random black dots on you. Put the scrapings on top of the sugar. Add the bean in as well.
Blend until you can see that the bean has been cut up finely, and that the little black spots are distributed well throughout the mix.
Seive the sugar to get the big bits of bean out (keep these in a jar for yourself for next time you want to infuse!). Pack into jars and pat down densely. Slice up the other bean into however many jars you have, and use double sided tape to stick a piece on the inside of the jar lid.
It gets better with time and age - 6 months or more is best, if stored in a cool dark place. But who can resist?