My husband sees no need for other flavors when it comes to cake, ice cream or really anything else baked or of a confectionary nature. Being a chocolate lover I could never concede in agreement but vanilla is an unrivaled building block and is indeed quite fantastic when done properly.
Ever since Alton Brown opened my eyes to vanilla sugar I have gone rather bananas with it.
In the past couple weeks I have used it in French toast, vanilla ice cream, oatmeal, sautéed apples and pumpkin pie ice cream. It’s just that amazing! It also ends up saving you a bit of money in the long run. I cringe every time I purchase vanilla beans because, as you know, it’s anywhere from $6-$10 for a couple! With vanilla sugar you can nix the vanilla beans in a recipe, replace the sugar with yours, and add a dash of vanilla extract for further fortification.
My favorite vanilla sugar application this week has been sautéed apples with homemade ice cream. I peeled and sliced up about eight Granny Smith apples. I put 2T butter in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once melted I threw in the apples, covered them generously with a 1/4-1/2cup of vanilla sugar and gave them a quick toss. I then added a good heaping teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of salt, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla extract. I didn’t really measure anything so start small, taste and adjust. Let them hang out this way until you start to get a gooey faux caramel happening and turn off the heat. Let them cool until you’re ready to serve.
I know there are weeks where babysitting and making your own ice cream just isn’t gonna happen. Grab a good quality vanilla from the store and do the apples yourself. You’ll still have a deliciously easy dessert that’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes!
Happy Fall Y’all!