Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Extract

If you haven't noticed, I like to bake. A lot. Much of what I make calls for vanilla extract so you can imagine that I go through a bottle pretty quickly. It's not cheap either, with a 2 oz bottle of Madagascar vanilla costing between $3 and $6. I decided to make my own so I could save some money and have a large supply on hand.

4 Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans
1 1/2 cups vodka
1/2 cup dark rum
tall glass bottle or large canning jar with lid

Cut each vanilla bean lengthwise to within one inch of the end (to help it stay together.) Push each bean into your jar or bottle and pour the liquor on top. You want the beans to be fully submerged so I used a tall, narrow bottle. Shake a few times then place in a cool, dark place. Shake every day or so for 6-8 weeks.

Now, I just have to be patient.
I hate wait. (*bonus points if you know what that's from*)


Margaret said...

I donna suppose you coulda speed things up?

Heh. I have actually wanted to try making my own vanilla too, Karen, but the 6-8 week waiting time has always made me balk. Meanwhile, you can get spices and really nice vanilla at Trader Joes for *much* less than at most grocery stores. I use their bourbon vanilla, which is much cheaper -- and better -- than the regular stuff. Check it out!

JMC said...

This comment is actually in response to something you said in you "Creating New Traditions" post.

Success lies somewhere in between:

1) "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where are you going to find the time to do it over?"
2) "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly!"

Jen said...

"I dunno suppose you could'a speed things up?"

"I'm afraid you'll just have to wait."


I love this idea of homemade vanilla! Is there a recipe that uses bourbon instead of dark rum? For some reason, that rings some bells...

Karen said...

Hmm, I haven't come across one that uses bourbon. Mostly I found recipes calling for just vodka, though some people swear by rum. Since rum is my favorite liquor I decided to mix it up a bit.