Are you looking for a gift idea for the party host that you know already has everything? Or possibly a stocking stuffer for someone you know that loves to bake? Make a bottle of vanilla extract for them!
Making your own vanilla extract is so easy and it has such a wonderful taste that I have been using my own extract for a little over a year now. All you need is a few whole vanilla beans, I used a mixture of Tahitian and Madagascar, and either clear rum or plain vodka. I prefer that flavor or rum, so I got with a 50/50 mixture of both. Place the split vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle and cover them with the alcohol. Cover the mixture and wait. This extract will take one month to 6 weeks for it to be ready, but it is sooooo worth it! Store the bottle in a dark area (like your kitchen cupboard) and give the bottle a little shake every day. Somedays I would forget, and get it a couple times the next day. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you get the vanilla beans moving every once in awhile. As you use your vanilla simply replace the alcohol in the bottle. If you feel that your mixture is getting too weak, add an additional vanilla bean. Place a decorative tag on the bottle and you have such a cute gift idea!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
3-4 whole vanilla beans
1-2 cups of vodka or clear rum
Using a small paring knife, cut your vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds from the inside of the bean and place them into your decorative bottle or jar. Add the vanilla beans. Cover with vodka or rum and cover. Place in dark area away from direct sunlight and gently shake the bottle daily for 4-6 weeks. Use in your baking like you would any pure vanilla extract. As you use the extract, replace the alcohol occasionally and let sit for a few days repeating the shaking process.