Butter, flour, eggs and sugar form the backbone of any traditional baked good. I’ve always found it quite comforting to see these ingredients listed in a recipe; like old friends, they inspire a sense of security and familiarity, of “we’ve got your back” and “we’ll help you through this.” Sometimes, however, I crave a bit of change. Nothing too drastic, just an update or slight alteration on the usual baking standards.
Meet vanilla sugar. All the typical grainy sweetness we know and love plus a bit of added fragrance. It’s a wonderful way to jazz up the flavor of any dessert. I love to add it to brownies for a twist on the classic marriage of vanilla and chocolate or in a crumb topping to elevate the average muffin. Here’s how to make it…
You will need: 2 cups of sugar and 1 vanilla bean.
Slice vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out pods with the back of a butter knife. Reserve bean.
Add vanilla pods to sugar and combine with a fork.
Once sugar is flecked with vanilla, transfer to an airtight container, such as a mason jar.
Add bean to jar (this will intensify the vanilla flavor of the sugar) and seal for 1-2 weeks before using.