Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Making Vanilla Extract at Home

I just made a batch of vanilla extract but I can't use it until the end of November. Vanilla extract is so easy to make, but it does take a bit of patience! I've been wanting to make my own vanilla extract for awhile now because one, using real vanilla beans in baking is quite expensive, and two, I keep buying the tiny jars of vanilla paste or imitation vanilla extract here and they run out like once a month. I mean, this chocolate chip cookie recipe alone uses half a tablespoon of vanilla! 

Once in awhile, Netto sells five bourbon vanilla beans in a tube for about 25kr. That is r i d i c u l o u s l y cheap. Like so cheap I usually buy three tubes and keep my little vanilla bean stash stocked. I've been looking for a nice bottle to make my vanilla extract in and I finally found one at Granit last week in Malmö. There is always different kinds of vodka on sale at the various grocery stores here so the boyfriend and I picked up a bottle of Absolut at Kvickly over the weekend. Making vanilla extract is so easy that I don't even need to post a recipe, but here it is!

Vanilla Extract (from Joy the Baker)

3 vanilla beans (I used four)
1 cup of vodka, 80 proof
a nice, clean jar

Use a sharp knife and cut lengthwise down the center of the vanilla beans, leaving about an inch at the top of the bean uncut. Put the vanilla beans in the jar you will be using.

Cover the beans completely with alcohol. If you are using a larger jar or container, adjust the number of beans and how much vodka you pour in. Make sure that the beans are submerged in vodka. 

Cover the jar tightly and give it a good shake. Now here is the hard part, put the extract away in a dark place for two whole months and remember to give it a shake every couple of days. And that's it!

I will let you guys know how the vanilla extract tastes in two months or so. I'm so looking forward to seeing the extract get darker and darker as the weeks go by. And most of all, I can't wait to taste it!

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