Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract is a staple in everyone's house.  Right!?!?  It's used in so many things - cookies, muffins, cakes, pancakes, ice cream, waffles, the list goes on.  One of the best things about vanilla extract?  It is so easy to make!  All it takes is two ingredient.....and time. 

As the great Tom Petty once said, "the waiting is the hardest part..." and that's the truth with homemade vanilla extract.  Once it's made, it just gets better as it sits.  At a minimum you'll need it to sit for 30 days.  But, 4-6 months is more ideal.  The great part about it?  It's good indefinitely.  I'm still working through a batch I made almost a year ago.  It makes a great holiday gift too - I filled up small bottles like these and added it to teacher gift baskets for Christmas.  Redmond and Ashlyn's teachers loved it!!

As for the beans, I prefer to use Madagascar Vanilla Beans such as these or these.  I would imagine these Bourbon Vanilla Beans would work great too.

The other ingredient is liquor.  I've only ever used vodka, but I've read that rum or brandy work well too.  I'm a fan of vodka so I've just stuck with that ;)  When choosing a liquor you don't have to get too extravagant, but don't be too cheap either. 

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Beans (you'll want 4 per cup of alcohol)

1.  Cut vanilla beans into 1 inch pieces and place in a jar.  Pour alcohol over the vanilla beans, close the jar and transfer to a cool, dark place.  Allow to sit for at least 1 month, but 4-6 is optimal.  Shake jar every so often.

2.  Store in your pantry or cabinet and use as needed.

~ Sara :)

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