Vanilla Extract

two25acresAugust 3, 2012

Have you ever made it from scratch? I am starting to do some fall and winter planning, my mom is coming to live with us shortly. She will want to help me out, physically she can't do much right now but down the road I'm hopeful. Anyway, I saw a recipe for making vanilla extract and thought it would make a great christmas gift. Please let me know if you've made and if you liked it.

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I've made it with vodka and vanilla beans. It's all I used for years. The only reason I have store bought Vanilla in my cupboard right now is because a big bottle at Costco was so inexpensive.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:52PM
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I do what debby does.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:53PM
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I ONLY use my own homemade--bet it's been 10 years since I bought a bottle. As a matter of fact, I realized that my bottle is about half empty, so it's about time to start another.

I split 15 good quality vanilla beans (I get mine from Penzey's--they're large, fresh, and of excellant quality). The, I pour about 1/2 cup out of a 750 ml bottle of decent (doesn't have to be the best, but not the cheapest, either) vodka. I put that extra into my old vanilla bottle. You need to take some out to make room for the beans. Drop the beans in, replace the cap and let it age in a cool dark place for about 3-4 months. If you drop the beans in stem-side up, you can usually 'catch' them with a clean crochet hook when you need one for a recipe.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Yes, I make mine with Vanilla beans and vodka. It's 'ripe' and ready for ME to use in about 6 months.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:05PM
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Here is the recipe I have at the ktgatheringplace.

Vanilla Extract
Prep Time: 5 Minutes Ready In: 21 Days 5 Minutes
Servings: 200

10 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1 liter vodka

Place the vanilla beans in the bottle of vodka and seal. Store in a cool, dark area such as a kitchen cabinet for 3 weeks, shaking the bottle every week. Three weeks is the minimum, store it 6 months for the best flavor. After using, replace with more vodka. The same beans will continue to flavor the vanilla for up to a year.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:17PM
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That's the one I use, Joann, except I make a much smaller batch at a time - I use 4 oz. Vodka to one split Vanilla bean.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:48PM
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I'd like to add that the homemade vanilla, with whichever recipe you decide on, is a lovely idea for Christmas gifts! I've received a couple of bottles in the past from friends, along with the "cookies in a jar" (premeasured, add your own liquids, mix and bake type), and home made Bailleys. All were much appreciated, and a highlight of the season.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I made a bunch last year super easy (beans are reasonable on E-bay-way better price than buying from most stores)...When I bottled it up I put a bean in the bottle, the little seeds help with the flavor.

You may never have to buy vanilla again if when your "big" bottle is about 1/2 gone, you just add more vodka, and let steep again!

When you buy beans in bulk, take some, add to sugar and make Vanilla sugar for baking. I always have vanilla sugar on hand to put in my coffee too. Adds just a hint of vanilla.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 3:59AM
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I always make mine, but I use brandy instead of vodka.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:06AM
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I've made my own vanilla bean sugar for baking but I use professional bakers emulsions a lot for flavoring. Never made my own vanilla extract but I don't often have a need for it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:11AM
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Thank you for the feedback. I think this will definately be the start of the Christmas gifts and projects for mom. Just one thing, I don't really drink except for a Margarita about 3 - 4 times a year. Is there a difference in Vodka? Is there a stregth/brand I should look at? I think we well get the beans at Penzey's, that is one of mom's favorite places to go. I'll do some research online for some special bottle's to use. Anyone have any recommendations?
Thank you everyone and have a great day.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:40PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Below is a link to a company that has just about any kind of bottle you would like or have a need for.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bottles Online

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:02PM
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