Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homemade vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is so simple to make and cheaper than store-bought vanilla. When divided up in small bottles, it makes great gifts.


I bought the vanilla beans online at Beanilla. This was so much cheaper than buying them in the grocery store. I found the amber bottles online at Specialty Bottle.


Homemade Vanilla Extract

 10 Madagascar vanilla beans


 1 liter clear vodka (You can use any brand, but I just had to buy this Texas vodka.)


 Split the vanilla beans lengthwise. 


 Place in bottle of vodka and reseal. Give it a shake and store in a cool, dark spot such as a kitchen cabinet for at least three weeks. 


 Take the bottle out and shake it every week. I would leave it in the cabinet for three to six months, continuing to shake it every week. If you use the vanilla straight from the large bottle just replace with more vodka. 


 I am taking these to our family reunion for the silent auction, so I'm dividing the extract into smaller bottles. Use a coffee filter to line a funnel. This is the catch any sediment and seeds.


 Fill each bottle, add  a vanilla bean, if you want, and label. I made the labels on Microsoft Word, and taped them on the bottles.



 A 1 liter bottle of vodka filled three 4-ounce and two 8-ounce bottles.


I think I'll make my chocolate chip cookies for the auction, and pack the cookies, vanilla extract, and the cookie recipe in a cute basket.  I'll post the cookie recipe later.


Weekend Bloggy Reading
Linked to Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now.







Linked to Weekend Warrior Party at Ask Anna.

15 comments:

  1. That's brilliant! I may give it a try.

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  2. I gave you a shout out at my blog.

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  3. What a great idea! I bought a tube of vanilla beans from Costco a couple years ago, but never really figured out what to do with them. Next time I see them there, I'm making vanilla!

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  4. WOW, such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Amanda's party.

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  5. I'm going to have to try this!! I'm a new follower too, and a fellow Texan! I found you at Ask Anna.. Weekend Warrior Party!

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  6. that's a great idea! I'm definitely trying this (:

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  7. What a cool idea. I never realized how easy it would be to make my own vanilla extract. I can't wait to give this a try.

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  8. Did you use all 10 vanilla beans for the one liter of vodka?

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  9. Linda, I used all 10 beans in the liter of vodka. You can either add a bean or two to the smaller bottles when you divide it up, or reuse the beans in another bottle of vodka.

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  10. I just started the process! I'm so excited to see how it works. I bake all the time, but buying pure vanilla extract gets expensive. This is such an amazing idea. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Cassandra. Homemade vanilla is the only kind I use now. I always have a bottle in the pantry. As soon as I divide a bottle up into small bottles, I buy more vanilla beans and another bottle of vodka and start over.

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  11. once the vanilla extract has been all used up, can you reuse the vanilla pods after drying out to make vanilla sugar? or use in recipes? Or could they infuse another whole litre of vodka? Thanks for the great idea!

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    1. Hi Amy! I tried to reuse the vanilla beans to make a new batch, but the vanilla was very weak. I suggest using new beans in each bottle of vodka. Add a bean or two to each small bottle when dividing up a new batch. I have also scrapped the seeds from the pods to use in recipes. Works great. Thanks for the great questions!

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  12. Shy away from cheap vodka, it will always have the rubbing alcohol taste. I also add a little bit of simple syrup, most store bought vanilla has added sugar. I like to use a strainer so that the pods still go into the bottle but no large pieces do. I think when ppl see the vanilla they think its extra special.

    I love your site. Great ideas!

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    1. Thanks for the great tips! I'm amazed by the number of people who have made their own vanilla for years.

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