Make your own vanilla extract with just two ingredients and your baking goods will taste even better. Vanilla extract is almost always used in baking. In addition to baking, you can use the vanilla extract as a flavor when you make homemade ice cream or why not add a little vanilla flavor to your cocktail. Make your homemade vanilla extract your secret ingredient when you bake!
Do not worry about the alcohol when using the vanilla extract as the alcohol evaporates when you bake
How to make it
It’s super easy to make. You only need a clean 240 ml bottle or jar with a tight seal. Avoid cork lids as alcohol can evaporate through the cork. Three vanilla beans and 240 ml of vodka, 40% alcohol (80 proof). You can use rum or bourbon if you want, but I prefer vodka. It gives a purer vanilla taste.
Divide the vanilla bean in half but leave one centimeter at each end intact.
Start dividing them one centimeter from the edge and finish one centimeter before the vanilla bean runs out.
Press the vanilla sticks into the bottle and fill with vodka so that they are covered.
You can divide the vanilla beans in the middle if they do not fit in the length. Let the vanilla beans infuse the vodka for at least 4 months, but for optimal flavor, wait at least 6-12 months before using. It’s worth the wait.
How to store it
Leave it in a dark cupboard and give the vanilla extract a little shake from time to time during the coming months when it sits.
Store your homemade vanilla extract in a cool dry place. Heat and light can make it cloudy.
If it becomes cloudy, just smell it and if it still smells good, it should be good to use. When using 80 proof vodka, it is unlikely that there is bacterial growth.
I know it’s hard, but try not to open the bottle to smell all the time. We do not want alcohol to evaporate. I promise, it smells amazing.
How to maintain it
Now for the best. You can refill the vanilla extract with more vodka when it runs out and you will have homemade vanilla extract for many years to come. Just make sure the vanilla beans are covered with alcohol at all times.
The perfect gift
This homemade vanilla extract is the perfect gift for Christmas. I have already made some to give away. I’m going to add a cake cutter and a cake recipe to the gift bag. It is a really fun gift to give to someone who loves to bake.
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