It’s that time of year to start thinking about holiday baking! One ingredient that we always use of lot of for holiday baking is vanilla extract. Several years ago, I went to buy some vanilla extract and it cost $15/bottle for non-organic extract! I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it at that price. I figured there had to be a cheaper way to make it myself. So I did some research and learned that it was very easy to make myself. I’ve been making it from scratch ever since. Here’s how to make vanilla extract:
Supplies and Ingredients:
- A clean amber colored bottle (I buy all my bottles from Specialty Bottle, with whom I have no affiliation, you can use other colored bottles, but amber protects your vanilla from light)
- 3-4 vanilla beans (you can use lemon rind instead to make lemon extract, mint leaves to make mint extract, etc.)
- Vodka (other types of alcohol can be used and will yield different results, but I have found that vodka renders the most traditional taste)
- Slice the vanilla beans open lengthwise and place them in your bottle (you may need to cut them into smaller segments to fit them in your bottle)
- Fill the rest of the bottle with vodka
- Allow the bottle to sit in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks (ideally it would be at least 3 months), shaking the bottle up once a week (-ish)
- After six weeks, you can use the bottle of extract just like you would any store-bought extract
- Remove the beans after six months, if the bottle lasts that long. Some people like to use the soaked beans to make vanilla body scrubs or vanilla sugar with, though I usually dispose of mine.
BTW, the total cost for me to make two 12 ounce bottles of vanilla was $30, but you can find the supplies even cheaper as I used organic vanilla beans and my husband doesn’t buys the cheapest vodka. Plus this is higher quality and I know exactly what’s in it. So why not give this a try, there’s nothing to lose?