I have a weakness for homemade food prepared with real, authentic ingredients. As someone who bakes often, I use plenty of Pure Vanilla Bean Extract. Have you tried making your own? You won’t believe how simple it is until you try it!
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If you’ve never worked with real vanilla beans, then you’re missing out! When they arrived in the mail, I could smell them before I opened the package. Once they were out of the sealed plastic, I wanted to wrap myself in the incredible scent. My oldest son walked into the kitchen, nose sniffing the air, “What’s the good smell, Mommy?” I invited him to taste the tiny black specks inside of the pod and to touch the bumpy vanilla bean. He ran to get his little brother so that he wouldn’t miss out!
Pure Vanilla Bean Extract
- vanilla beans
- 1 liter of vodka (If you are gluten-free as I am, I recommend Titos Handmade Vodka)
- sharp paring knife
- brown bottles (if you plan to give away the vanilla extract as gifts)
To Make the Vanilla Extract Directly in the Brown Gift Bottles
Clean, rinse, and dry your bottles. Cut eight vanilla beans in half. Slice the beans open, but do not cut completely through the bean. Put the beans into the gift bottles and use a funnel to add 1 cup of vodka. Allow the bottles to rest in a dark, cool place for 2-3 months before giving them away. Give the bottles an occasional swirl to incorporate the beans and vodka.
To Make the Vanilla Extract Directly in the Vodka Bottle for Home Use
Remove 1 cup of vodka from the bottle and set aside. Slice 32 vanilla beans open, but do not cut completely through the bean. Slide the beans into the bottle and use a funnel to add the vodka you had set aside earlier back to the bottle (if there is room). Allow the bottle to rest in a dark, cool place for 2-3 months before using.
Enjoy using your Pure Vanilla Extract to make homemade ice-cream, granola, or apple crisp. And here’s even better news—once you start making your own, you won’t need those expensive, diluted bottles of vanilla extract from the grocery store anymore. I’ve successfully used the same vanilla beans for 2 bottles of vodka, making this DIY very, very frugal!