Monday, August 6, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Well, I'm up pretty late tonight blogging because I have really been slacking. Remember when I told you about my thrifting finds? Well, I finally got around to making that homemade vanilla extract that I promised I would make. 

John is quite the baker so we go through A LOT of it! 
I was very excited when I ran across a pinterest recipe for it and knew immediately that it would win him over. I bought him a "kit" type for christmas last year and it turned out amazing but I wanted to DIY it. Well, 8 months later, here it is!

A lot of people, especially those who don't bake, think it's bland and boring.
I highly disagree! High quality vanilla beans are amazingly fragrant, with either warm and spicy or subtle floral overtones, depending on their variety. 

Bakers appreciate the vanilla extract and use it with abandon in cakes, cookies, pies, custards, and homemade ice cream.  I have been known to add a drop or two to my coffee from time to time. But mostly, I try to reserve it for cooking purposes.

 A 4-ounce bottle of a top quality extract will cost you about $8 or more. If you use as much of the stuff as we do, you know it adds up fast! That's one of the reasons I wanted to start making my own vanilla extract a few months ago. Besides, homemade vanilla extract is so ridiculously easy to make. There is simply no way to mess it up!

For this recipe you will need: 

Whole Vanilla Beans: I purchased mine from Amazon. I ordered the 1/3lb of Madagascar Vanilla Beans which were about $25
Vodka: I bought the cheapest I could find at our local liquor store which was $10.99.

The recipe i found called for 3 beans per 1cup of vodka. I used 4 per cup. 

I started with clean mason jars. I purchased Italian swing top glass bottles to put the vanilla in upon completion of the process.

and clean bands and lids

next, split the vanilla beans lengthwise, like I did here

then place the beans inside the mason jar and fill with vodka leaving about 1/4 inch headspace

store the jars in a cool dark place for about 6-8 months and shake 2-3 times a week.

There you have it, Homemade Vanilla Extract! So easy!! 

When I transfer the extract to the swing top bottles I will post pictures.


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