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I think vanilla extract is wonderful and gives your pastry a perfect vanilla hint.
Of course you could use vanilla sugar instead of vanilla extract, but I prefer the liquid vanilla. A small bottle of vanilla extract is really expensive in Germany, so I just make it myself.
You only need two “ingredients” and time. Just cut vanilla beans in half and put them in a bottle. Cover with vodka and allow to infuse for 3 weeks. Then remove the vanilla beans and sieve the vanilla extract to remove bigger vanilla parts. I dry the vanilla beans and then put them in a jar of sugar. Thus I have some vanilla sugar, too.
On the picture it seems as if some of the liquid evaporated. But I have used some for baking, before the 3 weeks were over.
- 500 ml (2 cups) vodka
- 3 vanilla beans
- Cut the vanilla beans lengthwise in half and put them in a bottle, cover with vodka.
- Allow to infuse for 3 weeks, then remove the vanilla beans and sieve out the small vanilla parts and pour back in the bottle.