Thursday, November 12, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Extract

So we have a problem.

Recently while making a double batch of waffles, we used up the last of our homemade vanilla extract. Which means that holiday baking time is rapidly approaching and there's no vanilla extract around to make it wonderful. Egads! What's a girl to do?

Well if you're me you buy a bottle of vodka to console yourself. No, no, not to drink (my vodka-shooting days ended with college graduation, I'm pretty sure). The vodka is to brew up some tasty homemade vanilla extract.

I made vanilla extract last fall and parcelled it out as Christmas presents. Last year I followed a recipe, but really, the whole thing is simply vodka and vanilla beans, so this year I thought I'd just eye the proportions and hope for the best.

Here's what I used:

1 bottle of vodka
several super-clean jars, sterilized in boiling water
vanilla beans (I think I had 8)

If you want to play along at home, here are the steps to follow:

Slice each vanilla bean down the middle, leaving one end intact. I don't know why you leave that end intact, but that's what I remembered from last year so that's what I did. Oh, the logic.

Scrunch the beans down into your jars. (I ended up only using 3 jars.)
Pour vodka over top. I used about a half cup of vodka per vanilla bean.

 Put the lids on the jars (obviously) and place your concoctions in a cool dark place, like a pantry.

Every few days, take out the jars and give them a good shake.

Your vanilla extract should be ready in about 2 months. Mmm...delicious!

Ours has been brewing for a several of weeks now and should be ready (*fingers crossed*) to use in time for some Christmas baking. I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. How cool are you for making your own vanilla extract! I'm saving these instructions for future use.
    Good luck, hope it all works out in time for the holidays.

  2. It's great that you posted this idea. As we all know vanilla extract is expensive.


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