At our inn we go through a lot of vanilla. We now make our own and you can too. Here are some very simple instructions that anyone can follow to make their own delicious vanilla extract for a small cost.
Every once and awhile someone asks me what one would do with a bottle of vanilla. About a teaspoon of vanilla is in almost every sweet-baked item you could ever make. What’s not to love?
Cut vanilla Beans lengthwise into quarters and then in half the other direction.
Place 1 1/2 or 2 whole cut vanilla beans into a glass bottle. You can buy perfect little four-ounce bottles online or just use a canning jar that you might already have at home.
Ready for the second ingredient? bourbon. Yep, Just plain old bourbon. Fill almost to the top. You can also use a mild brandy instead of bourbon if you like.
Place lid & store in pantry or cupboard for at least 6-8 weeks, giving bottles a good shake about once a week.
When finished, decorate bottles with cute labels & ribbons (labels and ribbons optional). They make great gifts for friends who like to bake. It’s a good idea to include a recipe if you are giving to friends who have never used their ovens to make a cookie from scratch.
Although the vanilla beans can sometimes be pricey, they are worth every penny because to refill extract, you can just add bourbon (or brandy or vodka) to the vanilla beans again whenever you start to run low. You don’t have to replace the beans for a long time. I rotate a couple of bottles so that I never run out. Happy girl.
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