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Jan 9, 2009 01:00 PM

use for one old vanilla bean?

I have one vanilla bean, about 6 inches long. I don't remember when I bought it; it's pretty dried out but smells terrific. Any ideas what I can do with it?

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  1. No doubt someone will explain why its great to put it in your sugar. You can also put it in your linen closet or sock drawer. The smell won't overpower the linens, but keeps them smelling fresh.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      Definitely put it in your sugar container to make vanilla sugar (usually done when first purchased), but you can also cut/break it in half, put into a small, narrow jar, fill with bourbon or rum to make extract (2-3 months); after awhile, the seeds from the pod will be moist enough to squeeze into custards.

    2. it's expensive stuff so i'd figure out a way to make it into food...

      maybe soak it in some warm cream, cut , scrape and add to infuse with the cream in a ice cream recipe.

      then i'd stick it in the sugar jar where i use for coffees.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jeniyo

        I've always heard of puting it in sugar; what do I do with the sugar if I don't use sugar in coffee? :) Seems like I need a "special use" for it?
        I like the bourbon/rum idea (or cream) and then being able to use the seeds.

        1. re: DGresh

          Use vanilla sugar in any recipe that calls for a coating of sugar on the outside - like sprinkling onto the crust of a fruit pie, or cookies that are rolled in sugar, then flattened before baking,

      2. Sounds perfect for making a small jar of vanilla!

        1. vanilla sugar is good, the extract is good too - but i thought you're supposed to soak it in vodka? not bourbon or rum to make extract.

          vodka can be "tasteless" compared to the flavors of rum or bourbon, so it wouldnt interfere with the vanilla flavor you're trying to get out of it. but you're probably going to need more than one vanilla pod for it

          1 Reply
          1. re: kimcheesoup

            Tahitian vanilla is generally soaked in Bourbon (hence Bourbon Vanilla). Vodka would make a cleaner, unsweet version, but rum works well too.

          2. I would put it in a food processor with powdered sugar and use it in recipes calling for's good for lady fingers, cakes, etc. It's called vanilla powder. Good luck!