Make your own homemade vanilla extract so that it’s perfectly ready in time for gift-giving season!
I know it seems a little early to be thinking about the holidays, but I have to tell you about this now so that you have plenty of time for it to reach its full potential. Last year, I entered a Twitter giveaway and was the GRAND PRIZE winner. In itself, it was very shocking, considering I’m one of those people that say “I never win anything” and also, in turn, literally NEVER win anything. I actually won a “year’s supply” of vanilla, in the form of beans, paste, and extract. It was amazing! I need to bake more to get rid of it!
I HAVE been able to use it, though, like in this Egg Nog Creme Brulee recipe last year. I kept saving all of my pods so that I could do something with them and this was just the way to use them! It’s hardly even a recipe. You pop the pods (with the insides scraped out) into a bottle of vodka and put it in a cool dark place for three months, occasionally taking it out to give it a shake and ensure the pods are submerged in the liquid. Then, you strain (if desired) and pour into little gift jars and – voila! Christmas presents for all the mothers and grandmothers. (At least, this is what I did!)
Instead of special foods, this one requires some special equipment, and I’ve included them in the recipe card (which I don’t normally do). I bought my bottles at Specialty Bottle. I found myself hard-pressed for a small funnel in crunch time, so I bought mine from Williams-Sonoma, but this Norpro set includes a baby one that will more than likely be just perfect for this job! (Please note, the Amazon links are affiliate links. If you purchase something through that page, I may receive a bit of commission on it, but it does not affect your price.)
If the vanilla pods are too long to be submerged, try laying the jar on its side (after ensuring that the cap is on tightly!). You can also cut them all in half – it’s up to you.
I’ve been using this homemade vanilla extract exclusively for the past year and it’s been fun to say I’ve made a pantry staple all by myself! I hope you’ll try this out as well. I’ve got my second batch brewing and can’t wait to see it!
Local Spotlight: I found an Oklahoma distillery! Their vodka is really good – I even hear they’ve got some new things up their sleeves. I hope we get to work together soon.
I hope you #enJOYed this little DIY and I can’t wait to hear about all your favorite gifts.
What are your favorite food-gifts at the holidays?
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 1 32 oz amber bottle with cap
- 6 4 oz amber bottles with caps
- 1 small funnel
- 1 750 mL vodka
- 5 vanilla beans
- Using funnel, pour vodka into 32oz amber bottle.
- Split the vanilla beans and scrape out their insides (seeds). You can use the seeds for something else, or save the pods for this project.
- Drop the pods into the vodka and seal. Place in a cool, dark place.
- Check occasionally, (every month or so) giving a shake or swirl.
- After 3 months, it's ready to pour into individual jars.
- Help your friends #enJOY the holidays!