Learn how to make vanilla extract right now. You will never go back to store-bought again.
It is SO EASY, but you do need one thing, and that is time. It takes two months until it is ready to use, and it is so worth it.
It makes a great gift and if you are thinking of using it at Christmas for baking and giving – start a batch now.
How to make Vanilla Extract
IDEA: Save yourself a lot of money – and for the holidays or someone’s birthday make this as a gift.
It is SO MUCH BETTER than store bought that you will never want to buy it again. Just pour the vodka into a decanter and add the vanilla beans. When it is ready, create a label on your computer. Now tie a ribbon around it. The bakers in your life will LOVE it (and you).
1 liter of good vodka (or rum)
10+ vanilla beans
Split the vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds and place both seeds and beans into the bottle of vodka to age for at least 2 months, stored it in a dark area and gave it a little shake about once a week.
After 2 months, filter it through a gold coffee filter to separate the seeds and bean fibers from the liquid. Don’t discard the beans, save them to place into the individual bottles.
Gold coffee filters can be found at Wal-mart, they are very fine and make an excellent filter and they don’t absorb the extract.
Now place one vanilla bean into each bottle so that it will continue to strengthen in the months to come. Used a small funnel to fill each individual bottle, add a custom label, a gift tag and bow and you will have a wonderful little gift to give to family and friends.
This recipe makes almost 4.25 cups or 33.8 ounces. I would recommend using a 4 oz bottles as it seems to be the perfect size for gift giving.
My guideline is once I can’t smell the alcohol, it’s pretty much ready. Homemade vanilla can take on a bit of a cloudy appearance, so don’t be alarmed. Keep the vanilla beans in the jar until it’s empty. Then it’s time to make another batch…
Use it in cheesecake, oatmeal, and Christmas treats. It is delicious in many desserts and it truly makes something good – great.
Vanilla Sugar Recipe
Not only is vanilla sugar your best asset to impress, vanilla is perfect in brown sugar, milk, cream, sweetened condensed milk – well you get the picture. Grab a handful of vanilla pods and let’s get cookin’!
4 cups white granulated sugar (or brown sugar, etc)
3 vanilla pods
Cut the vanilla pods into thirds and mix into the sugar. Pour into a container with enough shoulder room to shake it a little to mix, cover and let sit for one week. Every other day I give it a good shake. Enjoy this sugar in your coffee too.