I use a lot of vanilla extract in my baking, so I figured I might as well start making my own. It saves money and it’s very easy. Homemade vanilla extract in a nice looking jar also makes a really cute gift (holiday, hostess, etc.). Buying vanilla beans at the grocery store can be very expensive. You can choose from a variety of flavors at Beanilla.com or on Amazon.
HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT
•6-8 Vanilla Beans
•1 cup Vodka 70 Proof, unflavored
Slice each bean lengthwise and place them in the bottle. Depending on the size of your bottle, you may need to cut them in half (widthwise), or smaller pieces so they will fit. Pour the vodka into the bottle, making sure the beans are submerged. Shake the bottle one or two times a week, and store in a dark place. It will take about two months to get the best flavor. At this point, you can remove the beans, or leave them in there. I prefer to leave them in so a little more flavor will continue to emerge.
Using premium quality beans will result in a better vanilla flavor.
You can change up the flavor and use another kind of liquor. I bought airplane bottles of Marker’s Mark and put a few vanilla beans in there. Pour a little bit of the liquor out of the bottle (save it to drink later, of course). Cut the beans in half and slice each half lengthwise. Depending on the length of your beans, you may need to cut them in more pieces in order to fit.