Last year, I set about making my own decadent blend of vanilla extract and the results were so delicious, I’ll never buy vanilla from a store again.
Yep, it was that good.
You would have thought with all my years of baking experience, I would have tried to make vanilla extract at least once, but I always hesitated because I thought it was too difficult.
Prior to making your own vanilla extract, you will need to gather a few items.
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Buy Grade A or Grade B vanilla beans from Amazon or a reputable grocery store.
Buy 80 proof vodka or White Rum. (I used Tito’s Vodka, like the good Texan I am, although you could go with the most ridiculously inexpensive vodka you can find.)
Buy containers to store both beans and vodka. (wide mouth quart mason jars!)
Optional: Buy wide mouth jar lids for easy shaking.
Got everything? Good. Let’s get started.
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract in 5 Easy Steps
Using a sharp knife, cut/snip beans about halfway up. More or less, doesn’t really matter.
Place beans in jar/s.
Fill to cover beans with alcohol of your choice.
Screw lid on securely, then place in cool dark place. Mine went to the back of my pantry.
About once a week or so, you can shake the jars. I did it for about three weeks then totally forgot about them until my calendar alerted me that they were ready for use.
Keep the jars in the dark cave anywhere from six weeks to three months, depending on the final strength you’d like your amazing homemade nectar. (I did three months for a bolder strength)
BOOM! Homemade vanilla. (this is pre-three-month-hideaway)
At this point you can either place in receptacles for gifting, or use straight from the jar, refilling with alcohol once you’ve used the contents, starting the process again.
If you want an original and thoughtful gift to give (and keep!) during the holidays, now is the time to get started.
Happy Homemade Vanilla-ing, y’all!