Miscellaneous Random

homemade vanilla extract

vodka + vanilla beans = curl up and smile ::::

It’s only been a few months and the website is planning a facelift and getting some style advice. After I get some things out of the way for my day job (rather, getting  one), I’ll have some more time to start doing some blog surgery. No scalpel needed. Maybe a new camera. With any major surgery comes recovery time. The wait and patience to feel functional again is sometimes frustrating.

Such is the same when waiting for homemade vanilla to come to fruition. This recipe is easy but takes four weeks to be ready (as will my new blog style). My vanilla beans were moist and fresh when I placed them into the bottles, and even weeks later, they still smell and taste that way. How to tell a bean is fresh? Smell it. What do you do with bean dregs? Dry them, plant them in a bin of sugar, and use for baking.

Fresh vanilla, really, there is nothing better. It triggers the quintessential childhood memory of cookies baking and soft-serve ice cream. It is comforting and pure, sweet and calm. For years, it has been used in perfumes and flavorings. This homemade extract tastes fresher than the store-bought. It’s easy to make and a fabulous gift idea with some planning ahead. And if vanilla extract doesn’t suit your baking needs, well, this is easily turned into vanilla flavored vodka. Try that  in some of my basil lemonade and you won’t care about those freshly-baked cookies anymore.

 

homemade vanilla extract
Author: 
Recipe type: miscellaneous
 
Ingredients
  • 1.7-ounce and 5-ounce bottles from here (very reasonably priced!)
  • 2 vanilla beans (I ordered mine from The Spice House. I used Mexican vanilla beans, which have a creamy flavor.)
  • approximately 7 ounces of vodka (don't go for the fancy stuff unless you plan to drink this as flavored vodka)
Instructions
  1. Cut the vanilla beans in half. Scrape out the seeds to use for another purpose or place the whole bean in the bottle. I used the whole beans.
  2. Fill bottles to top with vodka. Cap the bottles tightly.
  3. Put in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks before using.
Notes
You can replenish your vanilla with adding more vodka to the extract bottle as you use it. Add more beans if you see the vanilla getting a little light in color after a few months of use.

 

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