I finally made homemade vanilla extract! I attempted to make this for gifts for Christmas 2013, but I started the process too late and it wasn’t ready by the time Christmas rolled around. Then, my mom threw it away. Yes, she accidentally threw away the vanilla extract that I spent a month making. I was really upset at the time, but I was also upset because she threw away the lovely mason jars that I had been storing it in. Huge bummer.
So I tried again this year and didn’t let my mom near it. I started it WAY early so it would definitely be done. It was quite a hit at Christmas. I think that everyone really enjoyed it. I have used it to bake in my own kitchen and it definitely turned out really well. I can taste the difference between the homemade vanilla and the store bought vanilla. I made a lot of it and have quite a bit left, so I need to figure out ways to use it more quickly. I also have leftover beans, so if anyone has any suggestions on things I can make using either of those things please let me know! The picture above is the before picture and the picture below is the after picture. The vodka does become a nice brown color.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Yields – 2 cups
Prep time – 10 minutes
Wait time – 8 weeks
- 2 cups of vodka (I used grey goose)
- 20 vanilla beans – I ordered mine online. I bought Madagascar vanilla beans, because those will give you the most traditional vanilla extract flavor
- 1 large mason jar
- small jars to put the vanilla in when it is complete
- Split each seed down the middle and place into your mason jar.
- Pour the vodka into the jar making sure that the vanilla beans are completely submerged in the vodka. You can cut the beans smaller if you need to.
- Place in a cool, dark space for 8 weeks. Shake the vanilla about once a week.
- After 8 weeks, pour the vanilla out into the small jars that you want to give to people. You can keep soaking the beans as long as they are still completely submerged.