Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla + Sugar = Yum!

Vanilla sugar is one of my pantry staples and it's easy to make, seriously don't buy it, make it. Each time you use a vanilla bean, instead of tossing the bean hull into your compost pail, submerge it into a jar of sugar. Over time, the remaining vanilla goodness permeates the sugar. Add it to your coffee, tea, hot chocolate, baked goods, etc. The best sugar for this job is evaporated cane juice, (find it at Trader Joes, Amazon, any grocery store) but plain old white granulated sugar works if it's all you have in the cupboard.

Vanilla sugar also makes for a fun twist to holiday recipes. It doesn't overwhelm, it just adds a great background note of warmth and a little something special.