Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Last year I made small bottles of vanilla extract for friends and family as Christmas gifts.

I found these cute little bottles online, but you can make your vanilla in any bottle you like.  I've seen it done in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so the world is your oyster, as it were.

I also purchased my vanilla beans online.  I was making a lot of vanilla, so I think I bought a 1/2 lb package, possibly more, for my project.

Making vanilla is super easy, you just need to be patient as you allow your vanilla to steep in your alcohol for at least 8 weeks.  It is exciting to see it all come together though, and is sure to impress those you give it to (or you can keep it all to yourself, I wouldn't begrudge you that).  I'm pretty sure it was my making of vanilla that erroneously convinced my in-laws that I am crafty and talented...vanilla is devious that way.

Homemade Vanilla Extract


Vanilla beans*
Vodka 80 proof/40% alcohol (you can also use Bourbon, Brandy, or Rum)

*A good rule of thumb is 5-7 beans per 1 c. of alcohol


Split your beans lengthwise (you may also need to cut them in half to fit your jar), leaving about 1/2 an inch from the end and place them in your jar or container.  Add your alcohol, making sure to cover the beans, and seal your container with its lid.

Allow your vanilla to sit in a cool, dark area for at least 8 weeks, being sure to give your bottles a shake every week or so to stir up your vanilla-y goodness.

If you bake infrequently, as you use up your vanilla, you can keep adding alcohol to cover your vanilla beans, which allows you to have a continuous supply.  I heard of one gal who has been effectively using the same bottle of vanilla for 25 years!  That's pretty crazy!


1 comment:

  1. Silly girl! We have been totally impressed with you, from the first meeting. The vanilla tipped the scale!