Vanilla Buttermilk Syrup
1 1/2 cups white or brown sugar (I use half white, half brown)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 Tbs dark corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped**
Combine sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, baking soda, salt and vanilla bean (both seeds and split pod) in a large pot (mixture will increase drastically in volume while cooking from the reaction between buttermilk and baking soda. Use a LARGE pot: soup pot size). Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until syrup is a light golden brown. Remove from heat. Remove and discard vanilla bean pod. Serve warm.
Store in refrigerator. Syrup will thicken to a soft caramel consistency in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.
Serve over Waffles, Pancakes, Ice Cream, or anywhere you would use a caramel sauce.
** You can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract for the vanilla bean, if desired. Stir vanilla extract into syrup AFTER cooking and removing from heat.