“Veritable Vanilla” EAT #5

Vanilla Extract, Homemade, Gifts

I have a front hall closet where one can find many things “brewing”. It is a veritable laboratory for making Limoncello, Blood Orangecello, Poire William & Vanilla Extract.  It is the gifting time of year and what better gift to bestow on fellow cooks than a bottle of homemade vanilla extract?

The only tricky part is planning ahead. I started this batch a few months ago, every so often stopping by to give it a shake. Otherwise it just sat in the dark steeping…getting darker by the week. It is as “easy as this”…..

Easy Vanilla Extract

It’s December 15 and it is time…to decant, label & do a little gift-giving.

Simple recipe:

1 liter of vodka, about 10-15 vanilla beans split & a few months

1. Place split vanilla beans down into bottle of vodka. Replace lid & shake. Place in dark closet or cabinet & shake about once a week. I waited 6 months to decant. I started this batch in July. Every week the extract darken and gets a richer looking color.

Handmade Vanilla Extract

2. Decant carefully into glass bottles that have been sterilized in boiling water & air-dried. Add a tight-fitting lid. (My extract was very “clean” so I did not strain it, but you can add this step if you have lots of particulates in the liquid.

(There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of recipes on the internet for making your own vanilla extract. My recipe is easy but there are many other good easy recipes available that might suit you better…or make up your own.)

Bottling Homemade Vanilla Extract

Simple Gift Labeling

I made labels with a simple roller alphabet stamp (on-line/Paper Source) & plain brown tags. I “sealed” the top of the bottles with sticky backed decorative tape (Martha Stewart at Michaels).

Making Vanilla Extract

I know that for the most part Vanilla should be stored in dark bottles, but as most folks keep their extracts in a cabinet or pantry I used these pretty clear bottles I already had. You can also find a large assortment of dark bottles at The Container Store if you prefer.

…make it, bake it…give it this Holiday….it’s “easy as that”

18 thoughts on ““Veritable Vanilla” EAT #5

  1. I’ve been planning to make my own vanilla extract ever since I ran out of the supply my friend gave me for the holidays last year. Thanks for the reminder–and the instructions.

    1. Yes this is a wonderful gift. But, as soon as I bottled it all I realized I need to make lots more for next year’s gift giving. So good luck when you try this and make lots!

  2. I’m so glad to have come on this post…especially since I’ve been trying to also make my own vanilla extract and have fallen a little discouraged to how long its taking for the scent of alcohol to wither away.
    Oh well Teresa…you’ve given me a little more hope that it will finally work out in the end ;o)

    Happy festive season and flavourful wishes,

    P.S. I bought the cream to make your homemade butter for my brunch this coming weekend ;o)

Leave a Reply