Vanilla bean paste is…well, you know, a paste made from vanilla beans. I’ve seen it listed as an ingredient in several recipes, but have never seen it in a store.
Meanwhile, moldering away in a kitchen cabinet:
They were all rock hard. Instead of throwing them into my vat of vanilla extract, I decided to grind them up instead.
I don’t have a food processor. Or spice mill. Don’t judge.
I mixed in enough corn syrup to make a thick yet pour-able paste. Store-bought vanilla bean paste uses simple syrup instead of corn syrup, but I already had the corn syrup on hand and was lazy. So corn syrup it is!
I had to test it out right away, so I made sugar cookies. As you do. The coffee grinder didn’t grind the beans as finely as a spice grinder/food processor would have, so I ran the paste through a sieve just to be certain there wouldn’t be huge chunks of bean in there.
Once mixed, the dough looked like this.
Do I even have to say that the cookies were delicious? They were particularly good the following
morning day, the flavor of the vanilla strengthened overnight a bit.
One tiny disclaimer – this is something I whipped up at the drop of a hat, so I have no clue how long this lasts or anything like that. I’m guessing it has a shelf life of probably 3 months or so, perhaps more if refrigerated. In recipes, vanilla bean paste can be used instead of vanilla extract, in a 1:1 ratio.
Vanilla Bean Paste
Clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
The vanilla beans must be dry – air dry them on a counter, or dry them out in a low oven until they are brittle. Then grind them into a fine powder in a food processor or spice mill. Place in the jar, add corn syrup a tablespoon at a time until it becomes a pour-able paste. Store at room temperature, away from light and heat.