How to make your own vanilla extract

How to make your own vanilla extract

I am about to change your life. No, seriously. How can something this simple be that good? For years, my mom has been making vanilla extract. So good. It smells and tastes amazing. When she makes homemade pancakes she also makes this wonderful family tradition called white syrup, which is basically melted frosting which sounds weird but tastes like heaven. The not-so-secret in ingredient in the white syrup is her homemade vanilla extract. So this winter my parents gave us vanilla beans from a recent trip to Mexico and we made our own vanilla extract for the first time and ever since then we are hooked.

Here you go. Here are your simple, easy tips:

  1. Get yourself some beautiful, high-quality vanilla beans. Buy them from the Vanilla Bean Project here.
  2. Pick your hooch. Just another cool thing about making your own vanilla is you get to choose. The different alcohols give different flavors. The most neutral spirit is vodka. While I haven’t tried it yet but have read that rum leads a spicy vanilla and you could use the richness of a bourbon for extract. It is really up to you. There are no rules in vanilla extract making.
  3. Now it is time to select a fancy or not fancy glass bottle. We used a pretty one with a stopper because it looks beautiful on your countertop. Once again. No rules.
  4. Use five vanilla beans for 8 oz. of selected alcohol
  5. Set in your pantry.
  6. Every once in a while when you think of it give that vanilla bottle a good shake. After shaking, I usually pop open the top and smell all that vanilla deliciousness.
  7. Eight weeks and you are done. Your vanilla is all set to go. Hoard for yourself. Or they make perfect Christmas gifts. Simply pour it into smaller bottles.
  8. Enjoy! Like all good things, it gets better as it ages.

I know you are going to love your vanilla. Now that you have all that vanilla, think of all the ways you can put it to good use. Happy baking.


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