Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making My Own Vanilla Extract

making vanilla extract, vanilla beans

I have been using A LOT of vanilla lately. What with all of my low-fructose baking experiments and keeping my hubby supplied with French Vanilla Almond Granola, I'm buying it all the time. At $5 for 2 ounces, it can get expensive fast.

vanilla beans tied with twine

I was suprised to find out how affordable and easy it is to make your own vanilla extract. All you need is some vanilla beans and cheap vodka with at least 35% alcohol (I used Karkov). I ordered some Tahitian vanilla beans online and I found a nice bottle with a stopper at my local craft store.

making vanilla extract, vanilla beans

Here's what I did:

1. Figure out how many ounces your bottle will hold. Mine holds about 28 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups).

2. You will need 5 vanilla beans for each 8 ounces of vodka. So I used about 17 beans.

3. Split each bean by cutting down the middle lengthwise with a sharp knife, exposing the interior of the bean.

4. Place beans in bottle and carefully pour in the vodka.

5. Secure lid on bottle and store in a cool, dark place for about 8 weeks.

I can't believe I have to wait that long! I should have started sooner so that I would have plenty of vanilla in time for the holidays. Oh well, next year.......

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