How to: make vanilla sugar and cinnamon sugar
Something a bit different for you today – cinnamon sugar and vanilla sugar.
It may sound strange but having a jar each of these knocking about my kitchen really does make me feel all domestic goddess like. You can buy them obviously but have you seen the price? For a fraction of the cost you can make your own and they also make lovely little gifts for your fellow cooks, especially if you use a pretty jar.
I have a bit of an obsession with these kilner jars and have gradually amassed quite a collection. They can be on the pricey side but supermarkets usually have them in packs and I noticed last week that our local Poundland has started stocking them. Hurrah!
Vanilla sugar can be used in place of normal sugar in most baking and a spoonful in coffee or hot milk is fantastic. A note here on the price of vanilla pods. The last time I looked at them in the supermarkets, I recoiled at the price. Nearly a fiver for one pod! So I was really pleased to find that the absolutely fantastic spice stall at our local market sells them in packs of two for just over a pound. Brilliant quality for a tiny price.
Cinnamon sugar is another useful thing. The toddler likes some sprinkled on her toast on a Sunday for a treat, it’s delicious on porridge and makes a great topping when scattered over some muffins still warm from the oven. I also use it to knock up some cinnamon whirls in about 15 minutes.
Pop two or three vanilla pods into an airtight jar and pour in 500g of caster sugar. Give the jar a shake and then leave it. The vanilla infuses the sugar so the longer you leave it the more intense a flavour you get. As you use the sugar top it up as you need to.
Mix 500g of caster sugar with around 3 heaped tablespoons of ground cinnamon, you can add a little more if you like things really cinnamony. Once it’s mixed well, decant into an airtight jar.
Incredibly quick and easy Cinnamon Whirls
One pack ready rolled puff pastry
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Unroll the pastry and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Roll up, swiss roll like, starting on one of the longer sides and slice into 1cm pieces. Lay each slice on the baking tray, cut side down, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Delicious still warm and best eaten on the day you make them. Not exactly a hardship!