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Edible gifts: Homemade vanilla extract and sugar recipe

Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...

Simple ingredients make perfect holiday gifts

Small batches of vanilla extract and vanilla sugar are easy to prepare at home with these two vanilla recipes, and make perfect edible gifts for those on your list who love to bake.

Simple ingredients make perfect holiday gifts

Vanilla sugar

Yields 2 cups


  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 glass jar with tightly fitting lid


  1. In a small bowl, add sugar and vanilla bean. Using your hands, rub sugar and vanilla together between fingers until sugar is speckled with vanilla bean seeds.
  2. Transfer sugar and pod to a glass jar. Decorate for gift giving.

Vanilla extract

Yields 2 cups


  • 3 whole vanilla beans
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 glass bottle or jar with tightly fitting lid


  1. Split vanilla beans lengthwise.
  2. Place vanilla beans inside glass bottle. Pour vodka into bottle and cover tightly.
  3. Decorate bottle and attach directions: Store in a cool, dark place up to two months, shaking once per week.

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