Homemade Vanilla Extract

I love finding recipes for things that I thought you could only buy in a store. I especially love them when they are easy and better than what you can usually find. All you need to make vanilla extract is a few vanilla beans, vodka and a little time to steep.

You can find whole vanilla beans in gourmet or health food stores that have a good spice section. You can also buy them online. I used three Madagascar Vanilla Beans (touted as the world’s best) that our friends Suzanne and Paul gave us.

Here’s how to make it:
-2-3 vanilla beans; slice them down the middle length-wise
-Place them in a jar
-Add 1 to 2 cups of vodka (enough to cover the beans); I also added a half a cup of bourbon (ymmm)
-Cover tightly and store in a dark cabinet
-Shake every couple of days
You will see the color start to change in a day or two. In about two weeks, the extract will be ready to use. Strain if desired, but the longer the beans steep, the better the vanilla. I don’t strain mine.

Simple, right?

You can keep the same vanilla beans going for years. Just keep topping off with more vodka. Pretty cool.

Start a bottle now and have it in time for your holiday baking. Add a pretty ribbon and you got yourself a dandy homemade gift.

11 Responses to “Homemade Vanilla Extract”

  1. Haley W. says:

    I’ve been meaning to try this out for the longest time, but now I know exactly what I’m going to do: hand it out at my cookie swap! Great idea to give it as a gift!

  2. What a great idea! It seems like there should be a catch, doesn’t there? This is so easy. 🙂

  3. HappyCampers says:

    This looks like the perfect Christmas gift idea…thanks for posting. Can’t wait to make this!!

  4. Joanna says:

    I actually found a bottle with vanilla beans in it for this exact purpose at “Marshall’s” (like TJ Maxx and Winners). I havent done it yet, but it seems like such a neat idea.

  5. […] presents Vanilla Extract posted at An Hour In the […]

  6. how cool! thanks for sharing this little secret. 🙂

  7. Chef E says:

    I love this! I will be making this with the bottles I got from family members this past weekend!

  8. love this! thanks for sharing! i love the idea of making this as a homemade gift as well 🙂

  9. johnny says:

    bUd8vL Thanks for good post

  10. […] tsp. vanilla extract (I make my own for […]

  11. […] vanilla beans. You only need one and the others can be used for all sorts of things (like making homemade vanilla extract, or just stick the leftover, dried beans in your sugar jar for vanilla sugar). If you don’t […]

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