Use one of these three methods to make one of the easiest kitchen basics: vanilla sugar. From time to time, you will come across a cookie recipe calling for vanilla sugar. Don’t run out to buy it! You can easily make it at home.
I’ve seen vanilla sugar in many European and German cookie recipes. Many people use it to sprinkle on cookies, cakes and doughnuts. It’s great when used for a portion of the sugar in glazes and frostings, too.
There are a few different ways to make vanilla sugar. For immediate use, scrape the vanilla bean into one or two cups of sugar. The sugar and bean are then blended in the food processor until the sugar is powdery and the vanilla is thoroughly spread throughout the sugar. This results in lovely little specks of vanilla in the sugar.
Another method, requiring much more time, is to put two pounds of sugar into a canister or other airtight container, scrape the vanilla bean contents into the sugar, then push the remaining parts of the bean down into the sugar. Seal the container and let sit for several weeks, stirring every few days. Leave the bean in the sugar to store indefinitely. The vanilla flavor will grow stronger over time.
Another (less time consuming) method is to place the two to four cups of sugar into an airtight container, add the scrapings from the vanilla bean, then add the remaining bean. After one to two weeks of stirring the sugar every day, the vanilla flavor should be infused.
You can also combine methods: blend up some of the vanilla bean scrapings with a few cups of sugar, then add that to a larger sugar amount in an airtight container. Add the remaining bean pieces. Experiment and see what is easiest for you!
If you’ve made some vanilla sugar and would like to try it out in a recipe, have a look at my Vanilla Crescent Kipferl Cookies (Vanillekipferl).