My friend Pamela is a good person to know.
She knits the most amazing things. She sews like an angel and can sing your pants off*.
*Make that sings like an angel and can sew your pants on. Really. She could probably sing while sewing on your pants and knitting you a sweater. She’s good like that.
Her kids and my kids and her mister and my mister and she and I get along famously. A few weeks back, as our crew was getting ready to leave their casa, my kids started complaining loudly about how starved they were. STARVED, they said. Clearly this was hooey since they had done nothing but eat all day without cease. Pamela, though, kind soul that she is, saw in an instant just how much longer that one hour drive home would feel with five griping children. She rifled through her cabinets and handed the kids a goody bag full of chips, crackers and granola bars. Then she handed me a jar full of a concoction from her own private stash; Bourbon and Vanilla Infused Raw Sugar.
Home again, I tucked the kids into bed, cracked open the jar, sniffed and swooned. Bourbon and vanilla swirled around me. I dipped my finger into the jar and sampled and swooned again. Holy moly. Oh yummy yum yum. The caramel crunchy raw sugar had soaked up all the bourbon and vanilla flavours. Every little grain was a perfect blend of caramel, bourbon and vanilla.
Life is very good with a jar of this around the house. Happily, Pamela shared her method. And luckily for all of us, it’s as easy to make as a cup of boiled water.
Bourbon and Vanilla Infused Sugar
Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe.
Yield: About 2 quarts of infused sugar. Keeps indefinitely.
- 4-6 whole vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
- 8 cups raw (turbinado or demerara) sugar
- 6 teaspoons bourbon (Use one that is good enough to sip for best results.)
Fill a wide-mouthed half-gallon jar about halfway with raw sugar, shove the split vanilla beans into the sugar and pour 2 teaspoons of the bourbon into the jar.
Pour more sugar into the jar until it is about 2/3 full. Pour in another 2 teaspoons of bourbon. Tighten the lid on the jar and shake the jar HARD and repeatedly to distribute the ingredients well. Open the lid, fill the sugar to the bottom ring of the jar. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of bourbon, tighten the lid again and shake it, shake it, shake it. Shake what your Mama gave you. Stash the jar in a cool, dark place for at least a week before using. You can top the jar off as it gets lower, just lid it and shake it every time you do.
If the sugar hardens up, place a slice of apple in the jar, tighten the lid and let it sit overnight. Remove the apple and stir before re-lidding.
Bourbon and Vanilla Infused SugarRate Recipe
- 4-6 whole vanilla beans split in half lengthwise
- 8 cups raw sugar turbinado or demerara
- 6 teaspoons bourbon Use one that is good enough to sip for best results.
- Fill a wide-mouthed half-gallon jar about halfway with raw sugar, shove the split vanilla beans into the sugar and pour 2 teaspoons of the bourbon into the jar. Pour more sugar into the jar until it is about 2/3 full. Pour in another 2 teaspoons of bourbon. Tighten the lid on the jar and shake the jar HARD and repeatedly to distribute the ingredients well. Open the lid, fill the sugar to the bottom ring of the jar. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of bourbon, tighten the lid again and shake it, shake it, shake it. Shake what your Mama gave you. Stash the jar in a cool, dark place for at least a week before using. You can top the jar off as it gets lower, just lid it and shake it every time you do.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
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Could you blend this up in a food processor and then cook with it? Just curious I keep vanilla sugar on hand to bake with and I make my own bourbon vanilla extract. Seems like it would be used in place of brown sugar?? Maybe?? 🤷🏻♀️ I’m willing to experiment lol
Hi Susan- Hmmmmmm. That sounds like it could be delicious! Please let me know if you try it!
Do I take the vanilla beans out at some point?
Hi Cheryl- You can, or you can leave it in and keep adding sugar… Those vanilla beans have a lot of love to give, so I leave them in and top off the jar occasionally.
One of my favorite cookies was my gram’s almond tea cookies. I was trying out alternate flavor combinations for it and found your page. This worked great as a finishing sugar on the bourbon flavored version. Thanks!
Thanks so much for rating the recipe, Fran! I’m so glad you love this and I’d love to eat some of your Gram’s cookies. 🙂
michele brown says
Am planning on using this to coat my cocktail glasses for lavender side cars.
And Coffee just got better!! This stuff is super tasty! I am relieved to see it looks easy to make too! Can’t wait to have my own stash!
Just made up a jar of this and stashed it in the pantry. Smells fabulous and I’m looking forward to trying it baked goods and hot chocolate this winter.
I’m thinking about trying lavender/limocello infused sugar for lemon cookies/pound cake. Of course this fits into my plan to use fresh ginger and nutmeg whenever possible.
Thanks for sharing the recipe!
How do you make limoncello sugar?? I would love that!
Da Papa says
Don’t forget to eat the apple slice after it softens the sugar.
Kimberly :) says
I’m going to start a support group for people who read this blog because I am powerless to resist the influence. “Hi, I’m a friend of Foodie…”
Chris @ The Peche says
I really like your friends and how they roll. Bourbon + sugar? Heck yes.
pamela dayton time says
And this one time, when we were leaving the Foodie Family’s house, *MY* children were whining about being hungry and Rebecca actually cut carrot and celery sticks for them, proving that she does, in fact, love my children more than I do. Because I just hand them a carrot. Whole. When I’m feeling benevolent, I cut the top off.
kate C. says
Yes, I agree with Candi! Sounds wonderful, but what are the best ways to use???
Candi and Kate C.- This stuff is fabulous sprinkled on cookies or muffins before or after baking or stirred into coffee/tea/etc like normal. I mixed some into a berry cobbler and that was fabulous. As far as other baking with it, it’s limited… You could use it in moist-baking applications, like cobblers, puddings, etc… where you would use raw sugar, but for the most part it’s a finishing sugar. I wouldn’t use it in a cake or IN cookies, for example, but on top? Oh my yes.
What would you do with this? Bake with as usual? Add to tea/coffee as usual?