recipe 12 // homemade vanilla extract

You guys.  I’m ON IT this year.  I can’t even believe it myself.  Every year, I always say that I’m going to make something homemade to give as gifts during the holidays and then promptly forget about that plan until December 23rd when I realize that, crap, I totally forgot.

My lovely sister ordered me Shauna Sever‘s new book, Pure Vanilla, for my and my husband’s 4-year wedding anniversary.  It’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend picking it up if you are a vanilla lover. Smack in the middle of the book between recipes for vanilla sugar puffs and salted vanilla chip oatmeal cookies (!), lies a foolproof recipe for homemade vanilla extract.  Basically, if you have vanilla beans and vodka on hand, you’re good to go.

I picked up some little 8-pounce apothecary-style bottles from my local craft store and had all my little bottles of vanilla extract in-the-making lined up on the counter in ten minutes.  Here’s what I did to make this happen:

Homemade Vanilla Extract
makes (1) 8-oz bottle of vanilla extract


8 ounces clear, neutral-tasting liquor (like vodka.  I used Costco brand)
2 whole vanilla bean pods
8 ounce jar with tight fitting lid or cork


On a clean cutting board, split your vanilla beans length-wise.  If you jars are shorter than the vanilla pod, just cut the pods in half.  No biggie.  Place the split vanilla pods in the jar and fill until almost full with vodka.  Tightly cap and store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 months.

That’s it!  Bonus: As you use it, leave the vanilla pods in the jars and just top off the jars with the same liquor.  Bam! Homemade vanilla extract for all eternity! (Well, maybe not that long, but you get it…).

What’s your favorite thing to use vanilla extract (or vanilla beans) in?  I LOVE a little splash in my morning oatmeal.  Mmm….

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by Kayla on 11/05/2012

tagged as in FOOD + DRINK

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Kira November 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

This is great! I’m totally hooked on making home-made Christmas presents, and this might be the one to get me started :) Thanks for sharing!


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