I love the flavor of a hint of vanilla in baked goods, but I use it sparingly due to the cost of true vanilla extract. The price of fake vanilla extract is so much cheaper but filled with artificial flavors, color and preservatives – so why use it!? I wanted to know how to make my own – so off to the world wide web to find out and I found many recipes – all them really easy. All that I needed was vanilla beans, vodka, mason jar and time – that seemed easy enough. I ordered Madagascar vanilla (on-line) and went to my local wine shop (they carry some other items as well) and purchased organic vodka. When the vanilla came in the mail we could smell it through the packaging!
5 vanilla beans
16 oz (2 cups) vodka
1. Cut your vanilla beans length wise with a sharp knife.
2. Scrape the sticky inside of the bean out with a butter knife and put in the mason jar.
3. Cut the vanilla beans in half and place them in the jar.
4. Pour the vodka into the jar, seal the top.
5. Place the jar in a cool, dark location and remember to shake once or twice a week. I marked my calendar, but you could also label the jar with the date you made it. It will be ready in 3 weeks.
Your vanilla extract has a pantry life of about 8 months. I bought 4oz. brown bottles to pour and keep the extract in and to share with others.