I love the taste of vanilla. I am not an expert that will go out of her way to find exotic tasting vanilla. I really just love plain old boring vanilla. I find it amazing that you can add a touch of vanilla to pretty much any sweets and it makes it a thing of beauty. So while reading yet another one of my cooking magazines (oh the exiting life I live!). I saw this article about making your own vanilla, I can do that…it’s alcohol and vanilla beans. I mean how easy is that? So I shared this little idea with my mom, she informs me that my brother was already on it. Grrr…. always trying to one up me! Then my mom says: “did you know that it’s only vodka and vanilla beans?” I laugh (yes a little bit at her…), the woman is an amazing cook and baker, has she never looked on the bottle of vanilla? OK don’t be mad, I understand now that not a lot of people look at the ingredients on the vanilla bottle. So the joke is on me (again) since I am such a nerd, I have actually read the ingredients while standing there at the store comparing the amount of alcohol per brand! That is just sad sad sad.
Speaking of nerd, my friend Janine knows that I am a big nerd and she is an enabler. She sent me small cute bottles to make the vanilla! Some friends give you clothes, some give you gift cards but Janine gave me bottles…. I love that girl!
Here are my beautiful bottles.
One clean bottle with a tight fitting lid (I have those…check)
2-4 whole vanilla beans (per bottle depending on the size of your bottle)
Vodka (check check!)
Split your vanilla beans lenghtwise and put them in your bottle. Fill your bottle with vodka. Some recipes call for rum or brandy, I guess you could try different flavors and see what you like best. This magic little potion needs to “rest” for at least 6 weeks before you can start using it. The extract is done when it’s dark and fragrant…you will not be in trouble if you open it from time to time. Someone has to check and see what’s going on, right?
Here is my “starter”…I’ll keep you posted!
Here is a few days later:
Use as you would any other vanilla extract!
If you plan on making this as Christmas gifts, may I suggest you start planning in Sept., you need to find your bottles, get your vanilla beans and vodka…I’ll try to give you a reminder.