Homemade Vanilla Extract
Let’s say you’re like me and you bake a ton of cookies around the holidays (or just in general) and an ingredient that is always used is Vanilla Extract, so you go to the store in search of some, and are shocked by the price (I know I was…$19+ for 8oz of Pure Vanilla Extract..that’s crazy in my opinion). So right there in the isle of the grocery store, I thought ‘how hard can it be to make Vanilla Extract’ and took out my handy dandy smartphone and googled it, and viola, I read that it takes all of 2 ingredients and a little patience. I bought some vanilla beans, some cheap vodka, and set out making Homemade Vanilla Extract. Once you make your own, you will NEVER buy another bottle of store bought imitation vanilla extract again, and you will be amazed at the wonderful flavors (seriously, the flavor is so much better than anything you can buy!) And best of all, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make. Again, I can’t stress enough how easy it is to make!
After making some with vanilla beans I got at the store, I found this awesome website that sells beans at a cheaper price. Here is a link to Beanilla, they also sell cute bottles. The bottles I used I had around the house so there was no expense there, I just cleaned them really well (think mason jars and empty bottles of previous store bough items such as extracts.) You can also play around with different bean combinations, I did a lot of combinations, and my favorite thus far is a Burbon Vanilla extract or Burbon-Madagascar bean combination. I created some labels and those can be found here: Homemade Vanilla Extract Labels
This would make a great DIY present for the upcoming Holidays. I host a cookie exchange every year that has prizes and all, I’m thinking this would make a perfect little inclusion in the gift bag!
- Empty Bottles
- Vanilla Beans (5 beans per 8 oz vodka)
- Vodka (bottom shelf cheap stuff is A-Ok, 8oz per 5 beans)
- Clean & dry your bottles very well.
- Use a sharp knife to cut a slit in the vanilla bean, leaving just a little bit at the ends that you don't cut open.
- Scrape some of the seeds from the inside of the bean to loosen a little into the bottle that you will be using, then put the beans whole into the bottle. Cover beans with Vodka (8oz to 5 beans, but make sure the Vodka covers the beans, you can cut the beans in half for smaller bottles).
- Cover the bottle with lid, and attach label (make sure to label what kind of beans you used).
- Shake for a few seconds.
- Leave in a cold/dark place, and shake bottles every few days. Vanilla will be ready in 6 weeks (this is where the patience comes in haha). The longer it sits the darker and more flavorful it becomes, 6 weeks is the minimum.
- Best part about this is, once you have made the vanilla, simply add more vodka to it once you use it, and the beans will continue to provide delicious vanilla extract!