1. Put vanilla bean in sugar and leave for two weeks.
1. Heat cream with the scraped seeds from vanilla beans and add pods to the cream until just below a simmer.
2. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with an electric mixer), whip egg yolks, vanilla sugar and salt until pale and thick. With mixer on low speed, pour hot cream (with pods removed) into egg mixture, stopping to scrape down sides occasionally.
3. Strain and chill completely. Brulee mix can be made up to 2 days in advance.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F.
5. Place 6 ramekins (or flatter brulee dishes) in a pan with at least an 1 1/2-inch lip. Open oven door and place pan on door. Give brulee mix a stir and pour into cups. Pour boiling water around cups to come up halfway to the ramekins.
6. Bake brulees for 45-55 minutes, until they no longer jiggle when tapped. Remove from water bath and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
7. To serve, heat oven on broil. Sprinkle tops of custards with vanilla sugar and broil for 1 minute or use a butane kitchen torch.
Mini Sugar Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream together butter and 1 ¼ c sugar. Stir in egg, milk and vanilla.
3. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and stir in.
4. Shape small teaspoonfuls of cookie dough into balls and roll in sugar.
5. Place on a greased baking sheet and press down with palm of your hand.
6. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from pan to cool.
1. Serve immediately after the brulee comes out from under the broiler with cookies on the side.