A simple gift that goes a long way - homemade vanilla extract with two ingredients!
Too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts? Well this easy homemade vanilla extract is a perfect gift for your favorite bakers and now is the time to start making the bottles! I'm looking forward to having some in our pantry as well as the holidays approach.
I always run out of vanilla extract very quickly because I use it all the time in homemade oatmeal, sweet breads, and baked goods.
Vanilla is pretty expensive for a small amount, so the opportunity to make a batch presented itself when Bill brought home a large bottle of vodka a couple weeks ago. Bloody Mary's or Vanilla Extract... it was a toss up!
Okay I had the vodka, check! Alcohol is one of the two ingredients you need to make this, so I then placed an order for some grade B vanilla beans. I bought these vanilla beans.
For containers, I grabbed some bottles that I saw at Ikea a few weeks ago that I knew would work well for storing and gifting the extract. They are $4 for a pack of 3 bottles, but any glass bottles you like will work! I liked these 4oz. bottles with screw lids as well and they are 12 bottles for $16.
***I cleaned the glass bottles first by running warm water in them before pouring boiling water in them to prevent the glass from cracking.
I chopped the vanilla beans into 1/2" pieces and put in each bottle, using 3 beans per 4-5oz of alcohol.
I then used a funnel to safely pour the vodka. This little funnel comes in a 3 pack.
Lastly, I gently shook each bottle before storing in the cabinet. I will continue to give them a shake every so often to better combine the alcohol and beans.
So fun, right?
Is it okay to use alcohol other than vodka? SURE!
I ran out of vodka with only half a glass bottle poured so I used bourbon to top it off. You can see this last bottle is starting out much darker in color than the others but that's okay, it will just have a little bit of a richer, smokier flavor! I think I will keep this one for us and give the other ones as gifts.
You can see these cute 5oz. Ikea bottles against the 2oz. vanilla I just ran out of, haha! It will be fun gifting this much extract!
And lastly, here's how much the extract had darkened the next day:
And in 4 months, these should be ready to gift for Christmas! Imagine them with a little twine and hand printed tag! I would love to receive one of these, haha!
Again, here's the simple recipe -
Homemade Vanilla Extract:
Vodka or alcohol - 80 proof or higher
Vanilla Beans - grade B works fine because the alcohol softens the dry beans
Funnel for pouring alcohol into bottle
Chop beans into small pieces and put into bottle. Pour alcohol into glass jar using a funnel. Shake bottles every few days or week. Vanilla will be ready after a month but will be best after a few months.
*I used approximately 3 beans per 5 ounces of alcohol.
*Vanilla extract should be ready to use within a couple months and will never expire as long as the beans are covered. I will reuse the beans a second time by adding more alcohol and letting that sit while baking with another bottle and continue to rotate them.
So let me know, do you make your own extract? Will you try it? If so, let me know!
Peace and blessings from our home to yours,