Vanilla sugar (and salt) - add a bit of pizzazz to some of your basic ingredients!
The most common use for spent beans is to dry them and bury them in a jar of sugar. Or, better yet, dry the pods and whirr them in a blender or food processor with sugar. The same technique will give you something more unusual: Vanilla Salt, a flavoring that you can use in cookies -- use it in or on top of chocolate chip, butterscotch, or all-chocolate cookies -- caramels, puddings, and more. Of course, the salt is also good on the savory side -- try it on roasted carrots, lobster, shrimp, or sweet potatoes. If you want to go all out, whirr the dried pods with some sea salt and then mix that salt with fleur de sel or flake salt.