Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday Gift Idea – Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

I am continuing my quest to find simple ways to make foods I use a lot, with gluten-free and allergen-free ingredients. Since I’m always obsessed with baking, I use a lot of vanilla extract – I even picked vanilla extract as one of four ingredients that can be added to almost any baked goods. I decided to try to make my own.

The ingredients are simple – vanilla beans and vodka (or another alcoholic beverage, such as bourbon). You will need a glass container to make it in – I chose one with a wide mouth so I could easily add or take away vanilla beans as needed.

My research told me that I should use about 2-3 beans per cup of vodka. I used 1 ½ cups of vodka, so 4 beans sounded right.

Finding vanilla beans may be the hardest part of this experiment. I ordered mine from amazon at a really terrific price.(I don’t recommend paying $10 for two beans at the grocery store – you can find it cheaper, and you want to, because what’s the fun of making it yourself if it costs more?)

The best part about having vanilla beans in the house is the smell. Vanilla smells sooooo good, and so will your fingers after you score the beans – the next step in this process. I also cut off the tips so they would fit in my jar. I’ll use those in another project.

My research also told me that it takes about 4-6 weeks for the vanilla extract to be ready to use. My goal is to have it ready for gifts for Christmas. Between now and then I’ll take pictures so I can show you how it came out. Meanwhile, here’s how it looks now:

Don’t worry, I’ll save some for myself too so I can keep creating new recipes!


Jean | Delightful Repast said...

I don't drink vodka, but I'm going to pick some up for this. I have lots of other alcohol in my cupboard that I use in cooking, but no vodka! Like you, I go through a LOT of vanilla!

Colette said...

Jean, I laughed after reading your comment. I am using vodka that's been sitting in the cupboard for a couple of years, and we never drink it either. Time to put it to good use!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Okay, Colette, I'm almost ready to get down to business on this! Do you know where I can find some cute little 2-ounce brown bottles?