The Many Uses of Vanilla Beans Anyone who uses vanilla beans knows what wonderful flavor they impart to dishes. But, after the first use, vanilla beans can be used in making vanilla sugar and for flavoring coffee. To make the vanilla sugar, dry the beans after use then break them into two or three pieces. Add to a pint of sugar and let sit for about a week or two. When your sugar is finished, then wipe off the beans, grind them finely and add to freshly ground coffee beans for vanilla coffee.