Now that its baking season, I'm going through vanilla like it's water! I had some vodka, vanilla beans and glass bottles so why not make vanilla? Vanilla beans are an amazing ingredient but they don't last forever in the pantry. They get dry & brittle in just a few months, but vanilla extract keeps a long long long time.
What you need: - Five 8.5 oz glass bottles (I picked mine up at sur la table) - 10 vanilla beans (found mine on Amazon) - One 1.75 liter bottle of vodka or bourbon (I went with Svedka Vodka, not bottom shelf but it only cost $20) - a funnel (optional if you have a steady hand) - labels (I found mine on Etsy) - 25 minutes to pour, slice & close the tops
Method: - fill each bottle with vodka, leaving 2-3 inches of air space - slice each vanilla bean in half lengthwise - scrape the seeds out of the bean and either drop them into the bottle or place them back onto the bean pod and slide it into the bottle. Either way, the seeds and pod need to be in the bottle. - put at least 2 whole beans into each bottle - close them up and label them - store in a dark, cool, dry place - begin using 1-2 months after bottling
After just 5 days I already see a drastic color change. The vanilla is infusing the vodka, and the scent is out of this world. I cannot wait to bake cookies, brownies, etc...with my homemade extract.