Vanilla Syrup: Good for Gift-Giving, Better for Your Coffee

I think my days of being trapped in a 2-mile perimeter have caused me to stumble upon something brilliant. All this time at home has left me with lots of time to spend in the kitchen, though I am yet to be motivated to make anything that takes more than 10 minutes of effort.  Come on, guys, I have old episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to watch.

But that’s okay, because in my search for recipes I could make using only ingredients I already had in my pantry, I came across a recipe for Vanilla Syrup. Good thing I had a few vanilla beans left over from when I attempted to make pumpkin sorbet. I promise, this recipe turned out way better than that misguided foray.

Vanilla Syrup may not be a meal or even a snack, but what it does to coffee is amazing. This is also by far the easiest gift I have ever made. It can’t be heated in a hot water bath to be preserved, but it will pretty much last forever in your fridge. You can get started on making gifts for the holidays now! Or you can pour some in your pumpkin spice coffee…

Vanilla Syrup

Adapted from Food in Jars

Makes 3 half-pint jars (or one medium tupperware)

1 1/2 cups water

2 3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (And please, don’t even think about using imitation vanilla extract.)

3 vanilla beans, split and scraped (To prepare a vanilla bean, cut it lengthwise from end to end, then scrape the goo from the inside. Use both the bean’s shell and the goo in this recipe.)

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring them to a simmer, stirring occasionally. The syrup is ready when all of the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is slightly golden. Pour the syrup into three half-pint jars, and place a piece of vanilla bean in each jar so it can continue infusing the syrup. Also, if you don’t have jars, you can just pour the syrup into a tupperware. Keep the syrup in the fridge. Pour it in your coffee, on pound cakes and various other desserts, or, if you are a kinder person then I am, gift it. And, saving my best idea for last, why not use it in a cocktail? I’m no mixologist, but if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

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