I remembered that my sister-in-law brought back Vanilla Sugar from Germany and I found that I can make my own and use it in place of Vanilla extract.
I bought a couple vanilla beans and sliced them vertically a few times.
I put 2 c. plain white sugar and one vanilla bean in a quart canning jar and labeled it Vanilla Sugar 1. I repeated the process, labeling it 'Vanilla Sugar 2'. I shook the jars once daily for 2 weeks until the sugar had taken on the flavor of the Vanilla bean.
1 T. vanilla sugar = 1/4 t. vanilla extract
2 T. vanilla sugar = 1/2 t. vanilla extract
4 T. vanilla sugar = 1 t. vanilla extractIf the recipe called for 1 t. vanilla extract and 1 c. sugar, I'd use 1/4 c.(4 T.) vanilla sugar and 3/4 c. plain white sugar.
After I used up the first bottle of Vanilla sugar, I dumped the "Vanilla Sugar 2" sugar into 'Vanilla Sugar 1' and kept the vanilla bean out.
I then filled up "Vanilla sugar 2" with 4 c. sugar and both vanilla beans. I shook it a couple times a week and voila!!! I use up the sugar in jar-1 while the other jar is getting flavored with both vanilla beans!
My research shows that the beans should keep flavoring sugar for at least a year.
When it's not flavoring them anymore, its time to get new beans.
Try it on oatmeal, in cookies, pancakes, etc!
I'm gonna use it to make Vanilla hard candies!
Let me know how you use it!