Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Here's a nice gift for the bakers in your life, but not for this Christmas, it takes at least six months for the vanilla flavor to fully develop.  The longer you save it the better it gets, so this would be a good time to start planning for Christmas 2011 (you procrastinators can go pay some late fees or better yet, just go watch tv instead and do that later).

picture it with a beautiful bow


4 cups (1 liter or 1 quart) vodka (45% alc/vol)
10-12 vanilla beans, split lengthwise*

*If the bottle is shorter than the vanilla beans, cut or bend them to fit.

Pour the vodka into your bottle of choice (or keep it where it is, there are some very nice vodka bottles out there).  Place the vanilla beans in the bottle of vodka (make sure they are fully submerged) and seal. Store in a cool, dark place (such as a kitchen cabinet) for six months, shaking the bottle every week or so.
--      After using the extract, you can replace with more vodka. The same beans will continue to flavor the vanilla for up to a year.
--      You can use a paper coffee filter to strain out the vanilla seeds before using the extract (although I recommend keeping the seeds if you don’t mind the specks, they have great flavor).

1 comment:

Kimberley said...

Great idea, Susan. I'm going to keep my eyes open for cool bottles at thrift stores.

Hands down, the best vanilla bean source is right here in Seattle at World Spice Merchants (www.worldspice.com). All of their spices are top notch!

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