Have you ever considered making your own vanilla extract? With just 2 ingredients and some patience, you can make your own Vanilla Extract at home for much less than the store bought variety. Whereas a 6 ounce bottle of real vanilla extract at the store can be around $10-$15, I spent around $6 on my homemade version. Homemade vanilla extra also makes a great gift for Christmas or for a hostess gift.
For this recipe, I used four Madagascar vanilla beans from Cost Plus World Market – they were priced $2.99/2. If you want to snag a great buy without leaving your house, check out these highly rated bulk Madagascar vanilla beans on Amazon.com!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
3-5 Vanilla Beans (Madagascar, Bourbon, Mexican, or Tahitian varieties)
6 oz. of alcohol (I used Vodka, but you can also use Rum, Bourbon, or Brandy)
Directions: Split your vanilla beans lengthwise. An easy way to do this – first, press down with your knife to flatten down the bean, slice and open up the bean to expose the inside, and then cut them widthwise to fit inside your bottle. Fit beans inside your bottle, and pour alcohol on top of vanilla beans. Close the lid and store in a cool dark place for at least 2 months and up to 6 months for best results (I opted to store mine in a kitchen cabinet). Every once in a while shake up your bottle; the vanilla beans will infuse with the alcohol to make a wonderful extract.
I’m planning on making a big batch of Vanilla Extract in a large bottle and then transferring the finished product to smaller darker bottles like these – the should make for fun and easy Christmas gifts! Do you make your own vanilla extract? What variety of vanilla bean and alcohol combo have you tried?