Tuesday, July 5, 2011

making your own vanilla extract

While looking through the recipe archive of one of my favorite blogs, I came across this fantastic recipe. Homemade vanilla extract? Yes, please! An INEXPENSIVE homemade vanilla extract? Double yes, please! The vanilla extract that I usually purchase is the "Simply Organic" brand, and it ranges from $9.99 to $10.99 for four ounces. I was very excited to find this particular recipe because it will cost about the same amount for me to make eight ounces of vanilla extract as it would as if I had just purchased the four ounce bottle--that's double the extract for half of the price! Not only is it less expensive to make your own vanilla extract, but it is also very easy.

The tools that you need to make your own vanilla extract are:
Mason jar with tight-fitting lid (I like the "Ball" brand plastic, screw-top lids)
3-4 vanilla beans
1 cup measure
1 cup alcohol (I used rum)
Slice vanilla beans lengthwise to reveal seeds. Once sliced, chop them into 1 inch pieces. Look at those tiny seeds!!
Put all of the chopped vanilla bean pieces into your mason jar.
Add one cup of your alcohol of choice.
Screw your lid on very tightly and shake 'er up!
Store in your cupboard until the vanilla bean goodness has been fully extracted! Ann Marie of CHEESESLAVE, the author of this recipe, suggests storing your vanilla extract for at least eight weeks before using. 



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