Thursday, August 15

Holiday Prepping: Homemade Vanilla Extract


This week I started on Christmas projects. Yes, I know school hasn't even begun for most kids, but last holiday season left me so exhausted and broke I thought I'd spread the cheer out even longer. HA! No really though. If you want to have any money for the holiday season I highly recommend not waiting until the season arrives to start thinking about gifts.  

Making homemade vanilla extract is something I've wanted to try for a year or so, but having recently returned from our honeymoon in Mexico, our cabinet is well stocked with mayan vanilla. Since I have no good reason for any more plain vanilla at my house, I made some fun vanilla flavors like rum (to spice up your rum puddings) and whiskey (for the whip cream on your irish coffees) to give out this holiday season. 


3 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka, rum, or bourbon

Using a paring knife, make an incision in 1 of the vanilla beans starting 1 inch from the end and continuing lengthwise through the remainder of the bean. Repeat with the remaining 2 beans.

Place the vanilla beans in a glass jar. Add the vodka, rum, or bourbon and push the beans down until they are completely submerged. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month, shaking it once a week. 

The vanilla flavor will intensify the longer the beans remain in the infusion. Store the extract for up to 1 year. As you use it up, top the jar off with enough liquor to keep the beans submerged, replacing the vanilla beans as they start to lose their flavor (about every 3 to 6 months).