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homemade vanilla extract recipeMaking your own vanilla extract might seem silly, but it is one of the most practical things to make yourself.  When you bake often, you go through a lot of vanilla.  Pure, high quality vanilla is expensive.  I would go through a bottle almost every other week.  When I saw that how easy it was to make my own vanilla, I decided that I would try it out.  I found a nice bottle, bought some vanilla beans in bulk, a bottle of vodka, and invested about 10 minutes of my time.  I started my bottle this time last year, and have not bought vanilla in almost a year.  You can make it with bourbon, but I prefer vodka.  For no other reason, I like to see my progress, and it is much easier to see in a clear liquid.  Since I bought vanilla beans in bulk, I had about 35 leftover, and have been using them in everything.  Vanilla bean adds so much depth of flavor to baking, and the black little seeds running through your baked goods is just plain sexy.

When I use a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out, I add the leftover pod to my main jar of vanilla.  When I am starting to get low, I just add more vodka, and let it sit.  I keep a smaller bottle of vanilla in my pantry, and just head to my vanilla extract supply when I start to run out.  The resulting vanilla is floral, and has no additives like store bought vanilla can have.  I bought some small brown apothecary bottles and made these into gifts for all of the bakers in my life.  I found cute little labels at anthropologie and added a little bow.

homemade vanilla extract recipe1 bottle vodka
10-15 vanilla beans
1 large bottle with a tight fitting lid

homemade vanilla extract recipeSplit the vanilla bean in half. You can use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.

homemade vanilla extract recipeAdd the split beans to the bottle.

homemade vanilla extract recipePour the vodka over the vanilla beans.

homemade vanilla extract recipeDon’t the vanilla beans look beautiful?

homemade vanilla extract recipePut the lid on the bottle, and store for a few weeks.  Give the bottle a shake every few days.

homemade vanilla extract recipe3 weeks later, you have a deep, dark, vanilla extract.

homemade vanilla extract recipePour the vanilla into smaller bottles (a funnel is helpful), add a label and a bow, and you have a perfect holiday gift.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle vodka
  • 10-15 vanilla beans
  • 1 large bottle with a tight fitting lid

Instructions

  1. Split the vanilla bean in half. You can use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
  2. Add the split beans to the bottle.
  3. Pour the vodka over the vanilla beans.
  4. Put the lid on the bottle, and store for a few weeks. Give the bottle a shake every few days.
  5. 3 weeks later, you have a deep, dark, vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the vanilla into smaller bottles (a funnel is helpful), add a label and a bow, and you have a perfect holiday gift.
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120 Responses to Homemade Vanilla Extract

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  11. Laura says:

    Can you please tell me where you got those awesome labels?

  12. [...] 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 cup almond meal 2 1/4 cups flour 30 caramels, unwrapped 1 (3-ounce) [...]

  13. [...] 1/2 cup caramel sauce (store bought is just fine) 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Gold Medal all-purpose flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 4-ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 6 Tablespoons butter, melted 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla [...]

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  15. [...] kinds) 1 cup butter 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 5 eggs, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 Tablespoon Kahlua 1 teaspoon fleur de sel 1 teaspoon coarse [...]

  16. Absolutely brilliant idea. Saving the $. Thanks!

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