It’s Fall, which means we’re heading towards the season of food, food, and more food! I’m ready for the pumpkin, the cinnamon, and the peppermint! Baked goods galore!
If you bake at home you know that many, actually more than many, recipes call for vanilla. Did you know that the vanilla extract you buy at stores is watered down with simple syrup? I think paying $5 at the grocery store for a 2 ounce bottle of watered down extract is so expensive!
So I want to let you in on a little secret. Vanilla extract is extremely easy to make at home. It takes a bit of time for it to sit, but after you’ve made the extract, it will last you up to 5 years!
- 3 vanilla beans (I bought beans from Amazon)
- Mason jar
1. Cut one vanilla bean lengthwise, leaving about an inch intact on the ends. Do the same for the other two beans.
2. Place all three beans into a mason jar, and fill the jar with vodka until the beans are submerged.
3. Close the lid tightly, and let the jar sit in a dark area for 2 months (mine are in a cabinet under the sink). Shake the jar about once a week.
4. Once two months are up, it’s ready for use! Every time the extract is used, pour more vodka into the jar to ensure that the beans are always submerged.
The second picture looks like I got some weird pets right? Ha!
- Use cheap vodka! I tested Smirnoff vs. Kettle One, and it does not make a difference.
- Different beans have different flavors. Madagascar, also known as Bourbon vanilla, has a strong flavor and it’s very fragrant (this is what I bought). Mexican vanilla has a bit of a richer taste.
- Use a permanent marker and write down the date of when you made the vanilla on the lid so that you know when 2 months have passed. Plus, it’ll be helpful for when your 5 years is up.
It’s perfect timing to make the extract now because in two month it will be November! Primetime for sweets! Another reason to make the extract? No more going to the grocery store for vanilla for 5 years.
Are you going to try this? What are some of your favorite recipes that require vanilla extract?
Secrets, secrets are no fun,