I’m not going to be grinchy and post how many shopping days until Hanukkah or Christmas. But at the very least, there is still time to make some special and fairly simple homemade gifts for loved ones this year in your kitchen. Enter the Vanilla Bean Spice Set.
I’m fairly embarrassed to admit it’s taken me this long to work with vanilla beans. I’ve gone through dozens of bottles of vanilla extract without much thought but after listening to a fun and inspiring #SpiceChat (a super cool monthly Twitter chat co-hosted by Table Fare and My Spice Sage) all about vanilla, I was motivated. I bought eight Madagascar vanilla beans and found the perfect inspiration: the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Exchange – this week’s theme is “Do It Yourself Gift Ideas with Vanilla” (sponsored by Beanilla.)
And here’s the beauty of these recipes: two ingredients (plus some time to sit) and you have vanilla extract. Two ingredients and you have vanilla sugar. Two ingredients and you have vanilla salt. Package them all together and you’ll have a very unique and special gift for your favorite home cook. On the back of the labels, I like to include unique ways to use the ingredients such as:
Vanilla extract: Add to bread dough, pancake batter, fruit salsas, vinaigrettes, mix into glass of milk
Vanilla salt: Sprinkle atop brownies, corn-on-the cob, roasted carrots, tomato soup, scallops, rub on rim of cocktail glasses
Vanilla sugar: Mix into coffee, iced tea, sprinkled over French toast, peanut butter cookies, roasted plums, peaches or nectarines
Do you cook with vanilla beans? Do you have a special “made in my kitchen” creation you like to gift?