Ahhh, vanilla. One of my many favorites. I remember first coming across the vanilla bean, it was all shriveled up with all of the goodness inside. The smell from opening the package was enough to make my heart dance and my place smell fantastic. Vanilla extract can become a bit expensive, especially if you use it as much as I do. Oh, and lets clarify.. some of the stores also sell imitation vanilla which is not to be confused with vanilla extract. I learned that the hard way when I got home one day and realized that I picked up the wrong one.. oops lesson learned. Always read labels. Got it. Any who, I use vanilla extract for pretty much everything. I quickly learned how to make my own, and just how easy it was to do.
You only need 4 things.
- A knife
- A jar (I use mason jars)
- Vanilla beans
- Alcohol (vodka)
You can either cut the vanilla beans in half and scrape the goodness out or just dice it. Depending on my mood I will cut them in half, then slice them. Or ill just cut them in small pieces. Either way works.
Place them in the clean/sterilized mason jar.
Pour the vodka over.
Give some shakes, dance a little and you are good to go.
Now you wait. Shake it everyday. Or as often as you can remember. Smell it, love it. When you feel its ready, when the vodka doesnt smell like vodka but heaven and its a darker color then its great.
Get something to strain it like cheese cloth, or a coffee filter. Strain it, give yourself a pat on the back. You have just made vanilla extract.