I first started making vanilla extract in March of 2013. In fact, the same vanilla beans I purchased are still in the jar. I top the extract off with more vodka now and then, as well as add more vanilla beans. I no longer have to spend lots of money at the store for vanilla extract. This is a gift that keeps on giving. Stop wasting money on pure vanilla extract at the grocery store and make your own. It is so simple! The hardest part is waiting the 8 weeks.
Here’s how you make it:
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- Jar or Bottle
- Vanilla Beans in your favorite variety (rule of thumb is 5 beans per 1 cup of alcohol)
- Vodka, but you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy
- Use a knife to split the bean in half, leave about a ½-inch at each end intact.
- Put your vanilla beans in your glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka.
- Close jar or bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 8 weeks. Give the bottle a shake every week or so. As you use the vanilla, simply add more liquor to replace what you have used.
A lot of European cookie recipes use vanilla sugar in place of vanilla extract. Vanilla sugar can be utilized in a variety of desserts; from apple pies, cookies to light and airy whipped cream. Vanilla sugar can also be used in savory recipes to give a slight sweetness to acidic foods like barbecue sauce and vinaigrettes. You could even add it to drinks such as coffee or tea – the possibilities are endless. Here’s how you make it:
- Cutting board
- Vanilla beans
Pour the sugar into an airtight container. If the vanilla bean is whole, slice it halfway through the long way, open up the bean, and use a spoon or kitchen knife to scrape out the black gooey specks. Stir the specks into the sugar, and bury the bean pod in the sugar. Cover the jar and let stand for at least 1 week.
Shake the jar once in a while you can prevent the sugar from sticking to each other.
So what are you waiting for? Make some!