Making vanilla extract at home isn’t anything new. In fact there are quite a few recipes already online. But today I thought I would share my version of how to make homemade vanilla extract and why I prefer it over store bought. 🙂
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If you’ve ever bought vanilla extract at the store, then you know how expensive it can be. I first discovered the concept of DIY homemade vanilla because I was tired of wasting money. The simple 2-ingredient recipe intrigued me (that’s right, only 2 ingredients!). Now I wouldn’t dream of paying top dollar at the store! This simple recipe is also a wonderful gift idea. Last year I made a few small batches and gifted them to my girlfriends for Christmas. They were a huge hit! Everyone was impressed by my homemade efforts and after smelling the sweet aroma they couldn’t wait to get home and bake a holiday treat.
So if you are looking for a way to cut costs in the kitchen, or needing a simple and meaningful gift idea for a loved one, try out this homemade vanilla recipe for yourself!
Here’s what you’ll need to make homemade vanilla extract:
- Vodka – (Any unflavored vodka will do, there’s no need to get the really fancy stuff)
- Vanilla beans – (I order these ones from Amazon)
- Glass bottles – (If you’re making a large batch, mason jars work great. For gifting, I like to use these 5oz bottles with dripper inserts.)
- Sharp knife
Depending on the amount you are making, you will have to determine how many beans you’ll need. The package I used came with 10 beans which worked perfectly for four 5oz bottles. It is easy to scale this recipe up or down, the proportions are 3 whole vanilla beans per 1 cup (8 oz) vodka, or 1 1/2 vanilla beans per 1/2 cup (4 oz) vodka.
The steps are simple.
Split each bean lengthwise with a sharp knife and add to the empty bottles following the ratio above. If your bottles are short you can first cut the beans down in size so that they fit..
Then pour the vodka into the bottles with the vanilla beans following the 3 beans to 8oz ratio above. Add the cap and you’re done!
Be sure to store in a cool dark place, and give the bottles a shake every so often. After about 2 months, the homemade vanilla extract is ready to use! If you are giving them as a gift, make sure you let the person know when the vanilla will be ready. I like to label my vanilla using my DYMO embossed label maker. To make them a little fancier, you can add some twine and a gift tag or throw them into a cute gift bag.
There you have it! A simple tutorial on how to make homemade vanilla extract (it also makes the prefect thoughtful gift!). I can’t wait for you to try it out for yourself! Do you prefer making things from home instead of buying at the store? Please share your favorites in the comments below so I can learn additional ways to make more and buy less. 🙂
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