Our daughter in Utah made some vanilla extract last year for Christmas gifts for close friends and family. I only use it for baking for our family it’s so good and the flavor is fantastic. It actually smells like vanilla and not just a fruity smell like the ones we buy. I actually try to buy the real vanilla but it’s expensive as much as I bake.
She got her vanilla beans on the internet, because they are not only fresher but cheaper. She ended up getting the cute bottles at Walmart cheap and just decorated them with a printed card with the Homemade Vanilla name and her name on it, Wishing them a Merry Christmas tied to a ribbon around the bottle neck. You can make it for anything such as showers for brides, baby showers or a retirement party. Even for special family occasions, like a family reunion.
- 5 whole vanilla beans
- 8 oz. vodka
1. Sterilize a lidded glass jar with boiling water or by cycling it through your dishwasher. Drain the jar and let it it stand until it comes to room temperature.
2. Using a paring knife, cut a lengthwise slit along the edge of a vanilla bean. Pull open the bean and scrape most of the seeds into the jar using the edge of the knife. Drop the split bean into the jar with the seeds. Repeat this process for all of the vanilla beans.
3. Pour the vodka over the pods and seeds inside the jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake the jar gently to dislodge more seeds from the pods.
4. Store the jar in a dark location without temperature extremes. About once a week, shake the jar gently to mix the ingredients. Wait at least one month before using. The longer you wait, the more intense the flavor of your DIY vanilla extract!
As you use up the extract, you can pour more vodka into the jar and replenish the spent beans with freshly split pods.
It is very simple to make vanilla extract and your family and friends will enjoy the flavor and smell of a homemade gift. It is handy to have in your preps as well.