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This blog is a culmination of two forever-bakers who have spent countless hours reading about, thinking about, and dreaming about baking delicious treats in our spare time. After taking a few cake decorating classes, our interest has soared to no end. While living and working in the same city has been a sweet treat in itself, a move across the state has spawned the desire to keep in touch by taking our love of baking and everything kitchen to the next level. So wipe your feet on the mat and stay awhile!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Vanilla

What I'm about to show you might make you really happy. It also might make you kick yourself for spending allll that money on this little ingredient. I'm going to be honest, both of these things will happen. I'm talking about vanilla today. As in the extract. As in costs-about-one-million-dollars-a-drop vanilla. Maybe I'm exaggerating. But really, if you're buying the real stuff, it's not cheap. So here's a little late Christmas present, because I'm here to tell you can make your own!

Yes! I'm not kiddin' ya.

And the best part, it only takes two ingredients. Simple simple. This method may be more expensive than just running to the store and buying a bottle initially, but I promise you'll be saving the dough shortly after you make it.

Here we go:
Homemade Vanilla

1 cup vodka
3 vanilla beans

Cut open each vanilla bean lengthwise with the tip of a knife, leaving about one inch intact on the end. Place the vanilla beans into desired jar or container. Cover with 1 cup vodka. Close the jar and store in a cool, dark place. Give it a shake every once in a while.

Its best to wait about a month or so before using your homemade vanilla. That way the ingredients have a chance to mix and mingle and get cozy with each other.

Here's the best part: You can use the beans over and over again. Just top your jar off with vodka when it gets a little low, and you'll be in business for years. This little gem makes a great gift too. Double the trouble.

P.S. - I know that vanilla beans can be a little costly. My secret is a little site known as eBay. Yes, you read that right. You can buy beans on eBay. And they're MUCH cheaper than in gourmet kitchen stores.




Shelley said...

Although I've often contemplated it, I've never made homemade vanilla. I've always wondered if the alcohol wouldn't overwhelm the vanilla scent. Glad to hear you had good results.

Dabbling In The Delicious said...

The alcohol is definitely overwhelming at first, but if you let it sit long enough its perfect! I gave this out as a few Christmas presents this year and suggested they use up their current bottle first. It should sit at least a month, but it will only get better with time!

elixirsinmymixer said...

This is cool! Since vanilla extract is mostly alcohol after all, I'm sure this tastes great! I wonder how bourbon would taste instead of vodka? As good as Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla? Now that stuff is expensive! If you're impatient like me, Smart & Final and Costco have great prices on vanilla extract.

Dabbling In The Delicious said...

@elixir - I've heard bourbon is great too! It probably has an even deeper flavor. Its on my list to try after all the vodka is used up.

Jason said...

Check out www.myspicesage.com for vanilla beans - they are extremely cheap. I order from them often and you get a lot of free stuff when you order. The last order I made was $25 and I got 8 free vanilla beans (first time for the vanilla beans - have gotten multiple other free seasonings in the past - smoked sea salt, cajun seasoning, aleppo pepper, ground sumac, etc...). Their vanilla beans are always nice and plump and straight and look oily, unlike the store bought versions.

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