Monday, December 23, 2013

Vanilla Sugar

For me, gift giving is all about the thought that goes into the gift.  Sometimes I have to resort to asking for a list but - when someone tells me what to get, it sort of takes all the fun out of the hunt.  I would like to THINK that I know the recipient well enough to choose a gift for them that they will appreciate even though I REALLY miss the mark sometimes.  It really is the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving - right?
I guess that's why I like to give homemade gifts.  I definitely appreciate gifts that I receive that someone has invested their time and talents into creating.  I hope that the recipients of my homemade gifts feel the same way.  (My homemade gifts are far from perfect so it really is about appreciating the effort not the result.) 

I tried some new edible gifts this year for Christmas.  One of the things that I made was vanilla sugar.  The concept is simple - combine vanilla bean and sugar to create a vanilla infused sweeter for tea or coffee.

Start with really great vanilla beans.  They are a little pricey but totally worth it.  (I found a jar with 2 beans on sale for 3.00.)

Slice each bean down the center with a sharp knife.  Use the tip of the knife to scrape the seeds from the inside of the bean.

Pour turbinado sugar into a bowl.

Add vanilla seeds and stir to combine.

 Spoon into jars.  (I added a half of a vanilla bean to each jar to give it a little extra boost of vanilla.)

Tie with a ribbon and label jars to give away.

I am going to tuck a little jar of homemade vanilla sugar into some special stockings this year.  I am ready to sit down and have a cup of tea with my vanilla sugar on Christmas morning.  (I guess this is a gift for me too.) 


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