I ran out of vanilla extract a couple of months ago and haven’t been able to bring myself to buy more since discovering this great recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract from the Two Tarts blog. With the knowledge of a simple and easy vanilla extract recipe that I could prepare at home came the feeling of excitement about the possibility of making it myself. Not only do I love making as many things from scratch as humanly possible, but why buy the stuff at $3.40 per oz when I can make it for almost a third of the price ($1.24 per oz)?!
The whole process is very simple. The prep takes only five minutes after which it needs to steep for a minimum of 6-8 weeks. I intend to use this waiting time to brainstorm all of the delicious uses for vanilla extract that I can think of! So far, I’ve come up with quite a list! Here’s how I’ll be using my homemade vanilla extract:
and of course…
If you are not big on the flavor of vanilla but like its scent, you can try dabbing some behind your ears for Vanilla Perfume. There are other home & body uses for homemade vanilla extract such as using it to soothe burns, freshen up your home, as aromatherapy, and for weight loss. Check out these creative in-the-home uses for homemade vanilla extract!
Most folks like the neutral flavor of vodka when making homemade vanilla extract, but you can also use other alcohols like rum or bourbon. Feel free to experiment! If you are not good at playing the waiting game, you can start using your homemade vanilla extract after 6 weeks even the below recipe calls for 8 weeks.
After that I recommend leaving the beans submerged in the vodka to continue imparting flavor. Keep in mind, however, that if your vanilla beans become exposed to the air, things could get funky. When this happens, either add a bit more vodka to your bottle to keep ’em covered, or strain your homemade vanilla extract for long-term storage and start over with fresh beans!
- 3 Vanilla Beans
- 1 Cup Vodka (I used organic)
- Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise to allow the vodka easier access to the beans.
- Place the beans in a glass jar, cutting them in half if necessary so that the vodka will cover them completely.
- Pour the vodka over the beans and place a lid on your jar.
- Give the jar a shake every day, or whenever you think of it, for at least 6 weeks and then once a week after that.
Need a good source for vanilla beans? Check your local spice shop first. If you don’t have a local spice shop, I have heard good things about Beanilla.com. There is also always Amazon.com. Happy hunting!