Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Happy Leap Day! I thought it'd be cool to squeeze in another post before the end of February, and thankfully I was given an extra day. I meant to post this recipe before the holidays as a gift idea, but then I got involved in way too many others projects. Now it'll have to be a winter activity to help escape the boredom, eh?  And so, in the spirit of my last post's DIY theme, I present: homemade vanilla extract.

When it comes to basic ingredients, I love figuring out how to make my own products. You save a few bucks and the homemade stuff is always better than store-bought.  Vanilla extract is a great example.  There are two simple ingredients: vanilla beans and cheap vodka. Vanilla beans can be spendy, unless you do some shopping around.  Most stores sell them by weight and it ends up costing a couple bucks per bean, but I found them in bulk at New Seasons for $1.25 each. Also, by using the cheapest vodka you can get, you end up with about 10 ounces of excellent homemade vanilla extract for approximately $6.  Not bad, I'd say. 

Vanilla Extract

about 10 ounces cheap vodka
3 to 4 vanilla beans

Pour vodka into a glass bottle with a catch release sealable top or with a cork. Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Stuff bean strips into bottle. Store in a dark place and shake weekly.  Extract is ready in about 2 months or when nut brown.

1 comment: