Vanilla Salt is the perfect gift for the gourmet in your life. A sprinkle will elevate all kinds of sweets!
Sea salt alone is a wonderful addition to all kinds of baked goods and confectionery, but vanilla salt adds a distinctive creamy note and luscious aroma. It’s sold in all kinds of kitchen specialty shops and online, but it’s so easy to DIY at home!
I have been reticent to speak of making homemade vanilla extract in recent years (despite it being one of my favorite blog posts) because of the recent shortage and consequent expense. But making vanilla salt is a good way to make just a couple of beans go very far!
Just one bean pod will give you plenty of aroma, but sometimes I use two. Coarse Celtic sea saltis my favorite salt to use on sweets, so using it to make vanilla salt was a natural choice. It is less salty than table salt because it contains trace minerals, and its coarse texture won’t melt away on confectionery.
Glass test tubes with corks are inexpensive and hold about 2.5 tablespoons of vanilla salt each – which is a nice size for a stocking stuffer! You can also portion the salt into 2 ounce spice jars (find them at home goods stores) or 4 ounce canning jars from the grocery store.
A last minute vanilla salt gift could be put together quickly! Well-stocked grocery stores such as Whole Foods will carry both vanilla beans and coarse grey sea salt. Small mason jars can be found in the canning section at most grocery stores.
If you’re looking for a good place to start sprinkling vanilla salt, then Millionaire Candy, and Speedy Turtle Candies are both good suggestions. You can also sprinkle it on vanilla ice cream (add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, too!), or on chocolate-dipped shortbread. See the recipe for more ideas!
Yields 1/2 cup
1-2 vanilla bean pods
1/2 cup (105g) coarse grey sea salt (Celtic sea salt recommended)
Split the vanilla bean pod(s) and scrape out the seeds.
Pour the coarse salt into a bowl and add the vanilla seeds. Blend the salt and seeds together using your fingertips, until the seeds are well-dispersed throughout the salt. Portion salt into small jars or test tubes (as pictured). Salt will keep indefinitely.
*Use vanilla salt on candy caramels, chocolate, and ice cream. Put a pinch in your coffee or use it to rim a cocktail glass. Sprinkle the salt on cookies and shortbread before baking. Add it to buttered popcorn and caramel corn.
Used vanilla bean pods can be placed in a small bottle of vodka to make vanilla extract, or they can be stored in 1 cup of granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar.
- Glass test tubes with corks or 2 oz. spice jars
- 1-2 vanilla bean pods
- 1/2 cup 105g coarse grey sea salt (Celtic sea salt recommended)
- Split the vanilla bean pod(s) and scrape out the seeds.
- Pour the coarse salt into a bowl and add the vanilla seeds. Blend the salt and seeds together using your fingertips, until the seeds are well-dispersed throughout the salt. Portion salt into small jars or test tubes (as pictured). Salt will keep indefinitely.