Homemade Vanilla Extract
I am a big fan of making things yourself, in case you hadn’t figured that out yet. The vanilla you get in the stores is usually full of corn syrup and additives, and isn’t really vanilla-y. So, I found a recipe that I liked, and me being ME, tweaked a bit. Here’s what I came up with:
40 vanilla beans
8 cups alcohol. You can use vodka, rum, or bourbon for a great flavor. You just really want the uber cheap, “rock gut” stuff because that tends to have a higher alcohol content.
1/2 gallon sized glass jar with lid
I found a GREAT deal on vanilla beans here on Amazon. They shipped quickly, and were sealed quite well! I only needed 40 for my recipe, so I split the order with my friend, and we were pleasantly surprised that there were over 160 beans in the pound! And this made the recipe I used cost a total of $18 for a 1/2 gallon of homemade vanilla!
Then, you take a sharp knife and slice each bean down the middle so that it’s not all the way separated, but looks like this:
(I would’ve shown you the knife going down the bean, but I don’t have three hands, and my family has officially gone on strike with helping me with blog pictures)
Then, place your sliced beans into the jar, and pour the vodka over.
I did this while taking a picture, and now I consider myself multi-talented! As a side note, I had to buy the vodka the same day I was buying items for my daughters birthday party. My hubby thought it was rather funny I needed a 1/2 gallon of vodka to get through the slumber party with several teenage girls. Seriously, I really only needed to make vanilla….
Then, you will have a pretty looking jar like this:
You will want to gently shake it up every week or so, and then in about a month, you will have the most awesome vanilla! The longer it sits, the more flavorful it becomes. I start this around February for Mother’s Day gifts, and again in October for holiday gifts.