Take vanilla beans or leftover pods, place in a jar that can be sealed tightly, and cover with sugar. It doesn’t really matter how much sugar you use; probably a cup or two of sugar (8 to 16 oz / 225 to 450g) will make enough to keep you going for a while, given that recipes will usually only call for a teaspoon or two of vanilla sugar. Seal tightly, set in a dark place, and let stand for about 3 weeks. When you use the sugar, use just the sugar, not the beans. You can leave the beans in the jar, to keep the flavour thing happening, or you can start a new jar. The beans will give off a vanilla scent for about two years under these conditions.
For those of us who are less organized, you can make vanilla sugar even faster by whizzing 4 cups of sugar with 1 vanilla bean (not pod) in a blender, then let sit in a sealed jar for 2 hours. The only problem with this is that it does make a lot, but the proportion is needed for the intensity of even that one bean.
And for those who are downright desperate, whiz in a blender 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract with 1 cups (8 oz / 225g) of sugar.
You can also buy vanilla sugar in packets.
Vanilla sugar is nice as a sprinkling sugar over fruits and desserts. For this reason, it is generally made with caster (superfine) sugar.
For sprinkling on top of stuff, regular white sugar. In a recipe, see extract and sugar substitute below.
1 package = 1 1/2 tsp of homemade Vanilla Sugar = 1 tsp vanilla extract plus 1 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp Vanilla Sugar = 1 bean, scraped
Vanilla Sugar doesn’t need refrigeration. Keep in a tightly sealed jar. Vanilla flavour will fade within a year, but you can recharge it by tossing in another inch of vanilla pod.