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Use for empty vanilla beans?

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?

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  1. 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. 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!
      http://ohhmay.com/2010/05/04/decadent...

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

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

            1. 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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      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

                        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

                          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. 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.