If you bake as much as I do, you go through vanilla extract like crazy! So this year I decided to make my own.
This was such a ridiculously easy process that I made enough to give as Christmas gifts (teachers, neighbors, family - everyone’s getting these!) By the way, if you’re one of those people I just mentioned, pretend to be surprised when you unwrap this at Christmas!
The vanilla extract takes 6-8 weeks to infuse before it’s ready to use, so you have just enough time to get started if you want to make some for Christmas. But if you are getting started a little late, you can make vanilla extract anyway, just put a “Do not use before” date on the individual bottles!
From what I’ve read you can refresh your vanilla extract once it’s used up by adding another 8 oz of vodka and one more split bean! You’ll also notice some little floaties in the bottle. Since these are just the innards of the vanilla bean, it doesn’t need to be strained out unless you find little vanilla bean flecks to be unappealing.
DIY Vanilla Extract
Recipe adapted from several sources around the interwebs
Food Safe Bottles, 8.5 oz capacity (I used these)
Vodka, 8 oz per bottle
Vanilla Beans, split, 3 per bottle (I ordered mine here)
Wash and dry your bottles.
Use a kitchen shears to cut the vanilla beans in half the long way, leaving one end intact. Use a funnel to pour the vodka into the bottle. Seal and store in a cool, dark room for 6-8 weeks before using; giving them a shake every once in a while if you feel like it.