Vanilla Extract

I have a confession…I’ve always bought vanilla extract (once, when I wasn’t paying attention, I even bought imitation vanilla)! Shhh…don’t tell anyone.  But not anymore!  Have you ever looked at ingredients in vanilla extract?  The main ingredient is alcohol!  So I decided I’d make my own!  It is so easy to make, the hardest part is waiting the four weeks or so before it’s actually ready to use.

I used a sealable bottle (you can use a small jar).

Split 2 Vanilla Beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  If you are using a quart or large mason jar you might need 4 or 5 vanilla beans.

Put the seeds and vanilla beans in the glass container.

Pour Vodka in (you might want to use a funnel if you’re filling a bottle) enough to cover the beans.

Seal the container and shake.

Place in a cool dark place and shake every week.

The vodka will begin to darken in color over time and after about 4 weeks you will have homemade vanilla extract!

I bought 2 vanilla beans at Trader Joe’s for about $3.  I know I could get more for my money by ordering off the internet but I was impatient (remember, I told you all that in my “about me” section!) and I wanted them now.

My extract is going on week 2.  I did pop it open to smell it and it smells really good.  I cannot wait to try this in something!

You can also make lemon extract and other extracts this way!  It’s way cheaper than buying ready made from the store and some of that store bought stuff has additives and preservatives in it.

And a bonus….Once you use up the extract you can throw the vanilla beans in a bag of white sugar and make vanilla sugar out of it!

I ‘d love to hear some of your tips for homemade extracts and what you use them in!