Vanilla-Orange Snack Cake with Apricots
A dusting of Vanilla Sugar before baking gives the fresh apricots on this buttery cornmeal cake a jammy quality and yields a delicious crust on top. Note: The recipe is easy but does take planning, because the homemade Vanilla Sugar needs to sit for 10 days before using. (You can sub plain sugar and vanilla extract in a pinch.)
Split 2 vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape seeds into a 1-quart jar. Cut beans crosswise in half. Add scraped beans and 3 cups sugar to jar. Seal jar and shake until seeds are dispersed in sugar and beans are buried. Let sit for 10 days so sugar absorbs vanilla flavor.