Sunday, January 29, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

For as much baking as I love to do, one of the most important ingredients in almost any baking formula is vanilla! Many years ago, while watching Martha Stewart Living Television, I learned how to make it myself. Given the cost of pure vanilla extract, compared to buying a few vanilla beans, it was much more economical for me to make it myself, and you can too! You only need a couple vanilla bean, some vodka, and a few months.

I usually make close to a gallon of vanilla ex
tract and that will usually last me an entire year! Of course, my vodka of choice for making vanilla (and drinking) is Stolichnaya! to make that amount, I use a 1.75 liter bottle of Stoli, and about 6 vanilla beans. For this recipe, you can use 3 vanilla beans and a 750 ml bottle of vodka.

Split the vanilla beans, lengthwise.

Place the vanilla beans in a clean glass container with a tight fitting lid. Pour vodka over beans, and place lid on the container. Allow to sit in a cool dark place for 3 to 5 months, shaking the container occasionally. This can be used as soon as 2 months, but best if left to steep longer.

When the vanilla is ready to use, you can place it in smaller decorative bottles for your everyday use, as well as gift giving!