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I love the holiday season. Many recent evenings have been spent browsing Pinterest for holiday decorating and gift giving ideas. I’m such a sucker for homemade gifts that get all prettied up in festive packaging. Fancy ribbon, colorful tags, and cute jars – yeah, I’m pretty much smitten with it all.

Last year I made Homemade Vanilla Extract to share with family and friends. The extract was quite a hit, so I thought that I’d keep with the vanilla theme and whip up a batch of Vanilla Sea Salt.

If you have never used vanilla sea salt, you’ll want to rectify that immediately. It’s subtle flavor is absolutely perfect for a variety of sweet treats such as Sweet and Salty Brownies, Fleur de Sel Caramels, Bars and Chocolate Tarts. And you can even use it on savory items such as pan seared scallops and fresh lobster. Imagine vanilla flecked salt rimming your favorite margarita! So many possibilities with a little jar of salt!

Join Katie and I this week in sharing your favorite recipes that feature vanilla for a chance to win an incredible gift basket from Beanilla. Beanilla has been my go-to source for all things vanilla related for over 3 years. I am confident in saying their products are the absolute best that I have tried. Their entire line of beans, extracts, pastes, and powders will turn you into a vanilla addict!

Join in on the fun and link up your recipe for a chance to win a gift basket from Beanilla! You’ll also definitely want to check out Katie’s idea for a Homemade Vanilla Sugar Scrub.

Packaging Info

– The jars seen in the photos are Weck Mini Mold Jars.

If you have a Silhouette Machine and are interested in the shapes and fonts I used, here is the info:
– Snowflake Doily by Loni Stevens cut on light blue card stock with a 2.4 inch width
– Plain circle cut on white card stock with a 1.49 inch width
– Vanilla font is called Liorah BT, Sea Salt font is called Pharmacy

Vanilla Sea Salt


1 cup sea salt
4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved


1. In a large bowl, combine sea salt and vanilla seeds. Use the tips of your fingers to rub the vanilla seeds into the sea salt until they are thoroughly combined.

2. Spoon salt into individual jars, cover tightly, label, and store in a cool, dry place.


- Depending on how you package your vanilla salt, this recipe will yield 2-4 gift jars.
- I used Mexican Vanilla Beans to make my Vanilla Salt, but any type of high quality vanilla beans will do.
- Don't throw those empty vanilla beans away, make homemade vanilla sugar.

Adapted from CHOW

All images and text ©

Follow Jamie on Instagram. We love to see what you're baking from MBA! Be sure to tag @jamiemba and use the hashtag #mbarecipes!

How To Participate

For a chance to win an Beanilla Gift Basket Gift Card {updated 12/5/11} valued at $150. Beanilla wanted to callow the winner to pick their own items, so the prize is now a $150 Gift Card! Woo-Hoo!

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog featuring VANILLA OR VANILLA BEANS.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.” in your blog post.
  3. No blog? Just leave your recipe in the comments section.
  4. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  5. Submit your post before December. 12, 11:59 PM.
  6. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prizes will ship to US addresses only.
  7. More detailed info are available here.

Link Up Your Recipes:

Love any of the recipes featured in today’s Holiday Recipe Exchange? If so, be sure to to use the Ziplist Web Recipe Clipper to add your holiday favorites to your online recipe box.

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This Week’s Prize:

Beanilla Vanilla Gift Card valued at $150

Prizes provided by Beanilla.

Recipe Theme Schedule:

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  1. abby says:

    this looks beautiful! I always have vanilla bean leftovers that need a home and you can only use so much vanilla sugar. Love the fonts you used too.

  2. Natalie says:

    Awesome idea and recipe!

  3. Susie D. says:

    I love vanilla. This is our favorite cake frosting:
    Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
    5 Tablespoons Flour
    1 cup Milk
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    1 cup cold Butter
    1 cup Granulated Sugar
    In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

    While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

  4. Ellen says:

    These are my favorite cookies to bake for anyone at anytime!

    Oatmeal Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
    • ¾ cup toffee chips

    Heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cookie sheets, combine sugars, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Stir in chips.

    Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool for 1 minute before removing from cookie sheets. Cool completely before storing.

  5. regina says:

    Love love love vanilla and vanilla beans love that wonderful warm aroma the sweet smell of home. My boys love Strawberry Smoothies with vanilla
    1 cup frozen strawberries
    1 cup milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    Whirl in the blender, enjoy!

  6. Liz says:

    I use vanilla in so many things!

    One of the recipes I can think of off the top of my head is my recipe for vanilla cookies.

    Combine 2 softened sticks of butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, and 1 tbs vanilla. Scoop onto cookie sheet and make indentation with thumb. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

    I top mine with chocolate frosting. YUM!

  7. Amy @ uTryIt says:

    The second recipe I’m sharing is Pinwheel Cookies. They are whimsical and got the perfect balance of vanilla sugar cookies and chocolate sugar cookies. Kids of all ages would be pleased to receive them for the Holiday, including those that are kids at hearts. :)

  8. Amy @ uTryIt says:

    What a lovely and generous prize. :) I’m sharing my Meyer Lemon Curd with Vanilla Sugar Recipe here. :)

  9. Tracy says:

    I love this idea! I’d use it in just about every single thing I bake. Such pretty packaging, too!

  10. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    I MUST make this! I’d sprinkle this on everything.