Have you ever heard of homemade vanilla extract? I hadn’t until I heard a friend talking about making some. She raved about how much better it is for baking than imitation vanilla that you buy at the grocery store. So I did a little research on it and decided to make some.
I quickly found out that homemade vanilla is not cheap. I bought the smallest bottle of vodka I could find at $11.95.
The 2 long vanilla beans at Kroger were $8.95.
I could have gotten them much cheaper on the internet at http://www.homebrewing.org/Madagascar-Vanilla-Beans-2-Count_p_319.html
But I am impulsive and didn’t want to wait for it to ship. Next time I will order from the internet.
When I came home from the grocery store my husband wanted to know why I had bought vodka. As a woman who very seldom even takes a drink it was unusual for his wife to come home with a bottle of liquor. I proceeded to explain to him that I was going to make some homemade vanilla extract with the vodka and some vanilla beans I had bought.
To make the extract you just need two ingredients…vanilla beans and vodka. First I tried to cut the vanilla beans long ways to try to release some of the flavor. I found this difficult so I just cut them into smaller pieces.
The recipe I found called for 1 ounce vanilla beans to 4 ounces of vodka, bourbon, or rum. Since I didn’t have a way to measure the beans I just put the vanilla bean pieces back into the glass jar they came in and filled it up with the vodka. You need to close the lid tightly, and make sure the beans are completely covered with the alcohol.
Using my Cricut Explore machine I made a label with the date I mixed my concoction.
Now I’ll have to wait at least 4 weeks to use it. The recipe instructs to shake the mixture once a week. If the mixture hasn’t turned dark after the 4 weeks passes, one should wait a little longer before using.
Hopefully the extract will be ready to use just in time for the holiday baking season. If you need a great gift for a baker buy some jars from Hobby Lobby that have a tight fitting lid. With a ribbon, a nice tag, and a label you’ll have an unusual gift that will last a long time. Meanwhile I’ll be searching for recipes for goodies with vanilla as an ingredient. I’ll update this post when I’ve used mine. Let me know if you’ve tried making your own vanilla extract and how it turned out.