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Use for empty vanilla beans?

arielleeve Jan 9, 2011 05:22 PM

Just made a recipe that called for the seeds of two vanilla beans. Does anyone have suggestions for ways to use the empty pods? I know vanilla sugar is an option, any other thoughts?

  1. e
    escondido123 Jan 9, 2011 05:24 PM

    If you were going to make some kine of custard, I'm sure you could steep them in the milk for a great vanilla flavor. But I vote for the vanilla sugar for long term benefit.

    1. chefathome Jan 9, 2011 06:43 PM

      Add them to homemade vanilla extract or make a vanilla bean simple syrup which is lovely drizzled over fruit.

      One thing I have not tried yet is this, vanilla bean infused honey. What a brilliant idea!

      1. s
        soupkitten Jan 9, 2011 06:55 PM

        you can reuse vanilla beans a few times, the flavor they impart just gets a little weaker each time. when you've had enough of that, *then* stick them in the sugar, or some good dark rum :)

        1. l
          L987 Jan 12, 2011 06:26 PM

          put them in ur sugar and u get vanilla sugar (u can mix it in a mixer if u want)

          1. s
            sedimental Jan 12, 2011 06:39 PM

            Put them in 100 proof vodka! Vanilla vodka is wonderful....or concentrate it in small containers and use it as vanilla extract.

            1. h
              HillJ Jan 12, 2011 07:31 PM

              Allow them to really dry out and then put them through a grinder to create vanilla bean dust. You can add the dust to coffee beans, cakes, muffins, cheesecake crust, breads, you name it.

              6 Replies
              1. re: HillJ
                sancan Jan 13, 2011 02:48 AM

                I double-dip on this idea and put them into sugar to flavor the sugar. I usually forget they're there, and then the vanilla bean completely dries out in the sugar. So I get the vanilla sugar and the vanilla bean dust. A two-fer!

                1. re: sancan
                  HillJ Jan 13, 2011 05:12 AM

                  two-fer, love that, sancan! This morning the vanilla bean dust was in the maple syrup, the waffles, my coffee and the rest will be headed into a bundt cake (have you seen that amazing CH thread) for later.

                  1. re: HillJ
                    kattyeyes Jan 13, 2011 05:18 AM

                    I just put the bean right into the maple syrup container. Mm-mmm-mmmm!

                    1. re: kattyeyes
                      HillJ Jan 13, 2011 06:51 AM

                      Lovely! This morning I warmed the maple syrup in a small pan and sprinkled in the vanilla bean dust. We like our syrup warm around here but your method is super quick!

                      1. re: HillJ
                        kattyeyes Jan 13, 2011 07:02 AM

                        My maple syrup is in a glass maple leaf-shaped container...easy to heat up right in the micro. ;) ETA: And now I'm craving waffles or french toast...thanks a lot!

                        1. re: kattyeyes
                          HillJ Jan 13, 2011 07:14 AM

                          Oh sure, blame a fellow vanilla bean lover...as if you're countless and energized recipes haven't made my stomache growl mid morning, HA!

              2. s
                sparkareno Jan 13, 2011 09:10 AM

                Thanks to another thread on here, I now make my own Greek yogurt. I put an empty vanilla bean in the milk when I am heating it. Just gives it a lovely subtle flavor.

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