Did you know that you can make your own Vanilla Extract? And that it only takes 2 ingredients?? YES you can! And if you make it this weekend, it will be ready just in time to hand out as holiday gifts! (I’m making a batch to use for co-worker gifts!!) Oh – I didn’t even tell you the best part, It’s super cheap!
All you need is vanilla beans and vodka. Now, I know what you are thinking “aren’t vanilla beans expensive?” Well, yes and no. See if I try to buy just one vanilla bean at the store it will cost me about $7, but I found an awesome deal for Vanilla Beans (Click to order) approx. 54 vanilla beans. Now you know why I keep a bag of these on hand and use vanilla beans for everything – I especially like to keep a vanilla bean in my coconut sugar so it’s vanilla-coconut sugar!
Ok back to the vanilla beans , order those beans today and they’lll be here in a couple days. In the mean time stop at the liquor store and pick up some vodka… I’ve heard that people have great results with cheap-bottom-shelf vodkas so if your on a tight budget just get the cheap stuff! I make mine with Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka (which is more expensive but I keep it on hand so it’s easy to toss together), Also you want to make this with a potato vodka so there is no gluten contamination.
So fast forward you got your vanilla beans , split them in 1/2 lengthwise to expose the seeds, and your vodka, now just combine them and let them “age” for 8+ weeks (8 weeks it’s ready to use but it will deepen in flavor with age!) I’ll give you the most basic mixing formual -you want to use 3-4 vanilla beans per cup of vodka, the whole half-pound bag of vanilla beans will mix will 1 gallon of vodka. I like to put mine in quart canning jars (4 cups vodka and 15 vanilla beans )
Put a lid on your container and let sit in a dark cabinet or closet for 8+ weeks – give them a light shake once a week if you can remember! After 8 weeks you can strain/bottle to give away as gifts – make pretty lables too 🙂 Or just keep it all for yourself! It’s ok to leave the vanilla beans in the extract for a long time, the flavor will only improve with age! I like to use these bottles (in the picture above) Click HERE to buy.