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

Vanilla beans
Corn syrup
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.

One thought on “An Experiment: Vanilla Bean Paste”

  1. I must admit I'd never heard of vanilla bean paste and if you had just shown the picture of it and asked, "Can you guess what this is?", I would have been totally clueless (which I am about a lot of things). Glad it made your cookies delicious!

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