Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vanilla Extract (Essence) Update and DIY Sweet Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Extract at two weeks
Vanilla Extract at 16 Days!  I'm loving the color!!
Have you started your vanilla extract yet?? Since brewing a little over two weeks, ours is turning a gorgeous amber color and taking on a lovely vanilla fragrance... just like it's supposed to.  I'm so excited at how pretty it already looks, I simply had to share our progress.

Starting DIY Vanilla Extract
Extract after 24 hours
Easy, easy, easy, all you need to make your own extract is vanilla beans, alcohol and bottles or jars.  After our success with last year's project, I couldn't wait to begin more for this holiday season (I have DIY instructions if you need them!), and my mom is eagerly awaiting her homemade bottle so she can use last years.  Yes... she saved last years gift saying, "It's too pretty to use!" so we are making more, and will probably have to make more next year so she will use the one from this year.  Do you know anyone who does that??  I've told her I'm not buying her candles any more either because she saves them all.  :)

Extract Day 1
In any case... have you started your extract?  What beans did you use?  How is it coming along??  Did you experiment with different alcohols?  I can't wait to break open a bottle of this batch and bake!

In the mean time, we also have Vanilla Sugar.  A nice addition to many of your baked goods, Vanilla Sugar also makes a lovely hostess gift.

How to make it?  Simply place the pods of vanilla beans you've used the seeds for in other baking into a container filled with granulated sugar.  The vanilla pods infuse the sugar giving it a heavenly vanilla taste and fragrance in just a few weeks... perfect for a sprinkle on top of waffles or as a stir into your morning coffee.

Want a lower cal version?  Simply place your used vanilla pods into your favorite sugar substitute, wait a few weeks and enjoy!

DIY Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Sugar
Sweet with hints of the tropics, vanilla sugar adds a special element to any baked good.  Use as a one to one replacement where granulated sugar is called for, or simply replace as much or as little with the Vanilla Sugar as you would like.

Vanilla Beans (Either scraped or not)

Place granulated sugar into a sealable container.  Bury vanilla bean pods that you have used in other baking into the sugar and seal.  The more pods you add, the stronger the vanilla infusion.

If using fresh pods, be sure to slice the pod lengthwise to allow the seeds an oils to escape into the sugar.

Continue refilling the jar with new sugar as you use it for a fresh supply, and continue adding additional used pods as you use them.

Liv Life Note:  I like to sprinkle a little Vanilla Sugar into a loaf pan after I spray it with cooking spray when making quick bread.  The Vanilla sugar makes a nice sweet and slight crunch on the outside of the bread.  Ends up being my favorite part!  (I also sometimes sprinkle a little on top of the bread)

My plumeria tree is finally in full bloom! 


  1. I've always wanted to try to make my own vanilla, looks great!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

    1. Let me know if you do Happy Valley! I'm loving mine!!

  2. Oh dear, looks so rich and utter full of flavor. I've never attempted to make this at home, should get to it, Holiday season is coming.

    1. It's coming all too quickly!! Hard to think about as I'm at 86º today in October, but it will be here before we know it!

  3. These make great holiday gifts but I usually horde mine! :)

  4. Oh my, the vanilla extract is gorgeous. I love the color too. I wish I was there to sniff the bottle...I'd be just like a crack addict. :)


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