Did you know that the U.S. and the U.K. are the only countries who use pure vanilla extract? The rest of the world uses vanilla sugar. Vanilla sugar is vanilla-scented white sugar commonly used to flavor baked goods.
Vanilla sugar is easy to make at home. If you ever find yourself with an extra vanilla bean: Make vanilla sugar. Simply put your vanilla bean in your sugar canister and a few weeks later your sugar will smell pleasantly of vanilla.
I just put a vanilla bean in my sugar bowl and then bury it whenever I have an extra. (As you can imagine, having an extra vanilla bean is not a rare occurrence at our house.)
If you are serious, you can split and scrape the vanilla bean and rub the vanilla seeds into the sugar and the leave the pod in the sugar jar.
It also makes lovely gifts.
Do you know what else is delicious? Vanilla bean whipped cream and vanilla bean buttercream frosting. When you make homemade whipped cream or frosting reach for your vanilla beans. Split the vanilla beans and add to the whipped cream to add to an over the top hot chocolate to warm up on a cold winter’s night. Or a vanilla bean buttercream frosting adds a special touch to a birthday cake.