Let’s be real – I am obsessed with vanilla.
Vanilla candles, vanilla lotion, any recipe with vanilla extract and/or vanilla beans – yes, yes, and double yes please.
In all honesty, I never measure vanilla extract in a recipe. I just pour straight from the jar. And I pour a lot. I go through the tiny bottles from the grocery store like it’s my job. I just recently became obsessed with vanilla beans, too. I always cringe when I buy a tube of 2 beans from the grocery store for close to $8. However, I can’t get enough of the flavor-packed black specks that add so much to cakes, buttercreams, and homemade ice cream.
Recently, I have been seeing countless recipes for homemade vanilla extract online. I was sold. I figured I could save a little for myself and give the rest as gifts to my friends that love baking as much as I do.
This recipe is incredibly simple. 5 vanilla beans + 1 cup alcohol + a few weeks to mix and mingle = the best vanilla extract I could ever ask for.
As I’ve mentioned, vanilla beans are a bit pricey. Based on the frequency of my online shopping, I am a bit shocked that I had never even thought to look for vanilla beans online. Best decision ever. I found 1 POUND of vanilla beans from this site for under $30. Shut the front door!!! I was so excited. I had enough beans to make 7 mason jars full of extract plus plenty more to bake with in the months to come. Merry Christmas to me!!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Source: Averie Cooks
5 vanilla beans, split
1 cup alcohol of your choice – I did a mixture of vodka (for a clean vanilla flavor) and bourbon (for a deeper, richer vanilla flavor)
1. Add beans and alcohol to a container with a tight-fitting lid. I used mason jars.
2. Seal tightly and store out of direct sunlight for 6-8 weeks. Shake your jar of extract about twice a week.
3. Your extract will be done when the mixture smells more like vanilla than alcohol.
4. You can strain the liquid if you do not want any fragments from the vanilla bean in your baking. But this is the best part, people!! I recommend keeping all the flavor bits intact. Enjoy!!
*Note – this is a gift that keeps on giving. As the liquid begins to run out, simply replace the beans and add a bit more alcohol. Easy as that!