Last Christmas I was extremely jealous of the people that thought far enough in advance to make vanilla extract to use for gifts at holiday time. I vowed this year I wouldn't be left out and in August I remembered to start my vanilla. I had no idea how easy it is to make vanilla. This recipe makes so much that it is much cheaper then buying it at the store. I also think that homemade vanilla extract has a much strong flavor and it tastes amazing in homemade baked goods.
|Day one of vanilla extract|
The key to making the vanilla is to have good quality ingredients and a lot of time. I bought 30 Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans on Amazon.com in the summertime. They are much more reasonably priced online then I've found in the stores. I think bought a bottle of good quality vodka and the rest was simple. Put the vanilla beans into the vodka and store in the basement. I used single serve wine bottles to pour the vanilla into and created personalized labels for the people on my gift list!
12 vanilla beans
1 (750 ml) bottle vodka
small bottles for the vanilla
|Three weeks after beginning vanilla.|
1. Pour a cup of the vodka out of the bottle and reserve for later use.
2. Cut 12 vanilla beans down the middle and place in the bottle of vodka. Replace the cap and give it a shake. Store in the basement for at least 6 weeks, shaking the bottle at least weekly.
3. When ready to use the vanilla, simply pour into smaller bottles and secure with a cap. You can pour more vodka into the bottle with the remaining vanilla beans and continue the process, adding a few new beans to your new vanilla batch.
**Whenever I need more vanilla I go down to the basement and pour some into a small jar. When the bottle is half empty I add more vodka. The vanilla stays good for a long period of time. Keep the bottle of vodka in the basement or a cool, dark place.**
|Two months after beginning vanilla.|