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Jan 21, 2013 10:43 AM

Many vanilla beans

My wonderful friend just visited Madagascar and brought me back several beautiful vanilla beans.

Any special recipes for using terrific, fresh vanilla beans? I want to get a lot of enjoyment out of these -- I may never have this many beans on hand at one time again.

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    1. Vanilla sugar
      Bourbon vanilla
      Vanilla extract

      1. Vanilla Pudding
        Rice pudding
        Vanilla simple syrup for iced tea and cocktails

        1. Use anywhere you would use vanilla extract: Pound cake, cookies, caramel sauce (!), creme anglaise, creme brulee, etc.

          To use instead of vanilla extract, scrape out the seeds and rub them with a teaspoon or so of sugar, using your fingers. This breaks up and distributes the otherwise clumpy seeds. I don't have a particular bean/extract substitution ratio because it seems pretty flexible (especially given that extracts vary in potency and beans vary in size), but I might use, say, one smaller bean for a pound cake.

          1. No suggestions, but what a lovely situation to be in! I adore vanilla.