To make Vanilla Simple Syrup:
In a small saucepan, over medium heat combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla pod. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.
Yield: 1 cup
The blended mixture can be strained through a fine mesh sieve to remove the berry seeds, if preferred.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis