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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I absolutely LOVE making my own homemade things. Whether it be a purse or some other craft project, laundry detergent, baking mix, or brown sugar.  If you really love a product, you will more than likely be able to find a recipe for it and make it yourself.   My friend G-Girl, has been making her own vanilla extract for YEARS and absolutely LOVES IT!  She says the flavor is just AMAZING so you know I just HAVE to try it!  

Making your own vanilla extract is very easy to make and it's fun to watch how the extract changes color the longer it sits.   Commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup (sugar water) added to the extract to give it a sweet aftertaste. You can do this if you want, but if you are using the vanilla for baking, there really is no need.

To make your own vanilla extract you will need:
  • 3 vanilla beans to every 1 cup of vodka or bourbon
  • glass jars with tight fitting lid
  • sharp scissor or kitchen knife

*Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected

*Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the bourbon

*Give the bottle a vigorous shake everyday for the first two weeks, then every few days after that. Store in a dark, cool place for 4-6 weeks or longer to infuse the vanilla into the bourbon.  The longer your extract sits and infuses, the stronger and bolder the taste.  The beans in your vanilla, can last up to 7 years in the bourbon, so just keep replenishing!

After you use a couple of tablespoons, replenish what you have used again with bourbon, give a good shake, and store in your baking closet.

You can also make vanilla sugar by putting a split vanilla bean into a jar of white, granulated sugar. Great way to infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor for baking.


Here we are at the liquor store. 
Now THAT was an experience!  lol
The first time around, I bought vodka

Supplies needed

Slice the beans from about 1/4 inch from the top to the bottom,
slicing all the way through the beans so the bourbon/vodka can 
get the flavor from the beans

This is the first day when a made a full bottle using vodka

Three beans to one cup

Fill with bourbon/vodka

Cover tightly

I made little jelly jars for gift giving

The bottle and the jar on the right were made with vodka 
at the end of September.  See the color difference from the 
beginning of this post? The bourbon on the left, is 
what I just made last week.  As you can see, the color of the 
bourbon is dark to start with

Store in a cool, dark place.  Don't forget to sHaKe
vigorously every day for two weeks

These are ready to go.  Mmmmmm, they smell WONDERFUL!
Time to get baking!



Mrs. JP said...

Thank you for this post!!! I started my vanilla extract about a month ago and was wondering, just yesterday, how long I needed to let sit before using it. So, I'm excited to be able to use it for my Christmas baking.
My sister-in-law makes her own and gave me a small bottle for sampling and there is just so much difference.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a fun project to do!