Homemade Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient in so many baked goods and desserts that it is nearly as important a kitchen staple as flour and salt.
Using a good quality vanilla can really make a difference in your baking and it's so easy to make your own there's no reason why you can't have the best on hand at all times.
Homemade extract will keep indefinitely too! All you need is some plain vodka, vanilla beans and a few clean bottles.
The following directions will make six 4-ounce bottles.
- Six 4-ounce Amber Boston Round Glass Bottles (buy online)
- 12 Whole Madagascar Vanilla Beans (buy online)
- 3 cups unflavored vodka (we used SKYY, but any brand will do)
- Thoroughly wash the bottles and caps in hot, soapy water and allow to air dry.
- Slit each vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife, stopping 1/4-inch from each end.
- Cut each bean in half crosswise, giving you 24 pieces.
- Place 4 pieces of vanilla (2 beans) in each bottle.
- Using a funnel, pour 1/2 cup of vodka into each bottle and push the beans down to submerge.
- Screw the caps on tightly and place the bottles in a cool, dark place to steep. The vanilla will be ready for initial use in 6 weeks, but 8 weeks is optimal for the most flavor.
For Gift Giving:
A bottle of homemade vanilla extract with decorative, personalized label makes a nice holiday gift for friends and family.
If you'd like to print a set of the labels pictured here, click here to download the file.