How’s this for a simple Christmas gift idea? Just jazz up some sugar with vanilla beans!
This was a gift I received myself a couple of years ago. It’s not as austere as plain old sugar because the scent of real vanilla adds a touch of luxury and extravagance.
For the price of one small bottle of ready-made vanilla sugar, I managed to buy a packet of five vanilla beans. The sugar is just ordinary caster or fine grain sugar from the supermarket, and the little pots come in sets of four from Ikea.
All you have to do is cut each vanilla bean into four with scissors. Fill each jar with sugar and stick a couple of the vanilla bean pieces in it.
Print out a fancy-looking label and tie it to the pot with twine. My label had suggestions for what to do with vanilla sugar because not everyone knows what it can be used for.
Don’t forget to tell your giftees not to throw away the vanilla pods. Just top up the pot with sugar every time you run out and you’ll have vanilla sugar all year round!