Vanilla extract is basically the holy grail of baking! The rate at which I can blow through a little $10 bottle of pure extract is ridiculous! I use vanilla extract in my almond milk (which I make a double batch of every week) and then I use at least double vanilla in every baking recipe. Why use 1 tsp when you can use 2 or 3??
Eventually I got a little fed up having to buy a bottle every couple weeks (and frankly, my grocery bill wasn’t satisfied either). I knew extracts had a lot of alcohol in them but I didn’t realize it would be so simple to make. One trip to the liquor store and a quick click on Amazon* and I was ready to give it a shot!
Vanilla beans can be tough to find in stores, especially at a decent price! I do not personally have a Costco membership, but I have given friends money to pick me up a few tubes so I know they have them there. When all else fails – there’s amazon*! As for the alcohol, you can buy whatever plain vodka you want. I use SKYY – for no real specific reason other that I didn’t want to buy the cheapest rubbing alcohol on the shelf and because the bottle is pretty. I normally just leave my vanilla extract in the vodka bottle the entire time but you can feel free to pour it out into smaller containers if your shelves aren’t super tall. Before using it in recipes, I give the bottle a quick shake.
If vodka isn’t your jam or you want a little more robust flavor try using Bourbon liquor instead of the vodka. Once everything is combined, you basically just forget about it for 6 weeks in your pantry (with a few shakes here and there) then its ready to use!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Making your own Vanilla Extract is SO simple!
- 1L of Unflavored Vodka (or Bourbon for a deeper flavor)
- ~25 Vanilla Beans
- Pour out a little bit of the alcohol to make room for the beans
- Add the beans to the jar, seal the jar, and shake
- Set the bottle in your pantry, shaking every so often (once a week or so)
- The Extract will be ready in 6 weeks.
- You can either bottle it into smaller containers or leave it in the large bottle
- Shake before pouring
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