Recipe courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs
Making your own Vanilla Extract is extremely easy, and is much less expensive than purchasing it. Plus, it makes an excellent gift that anyone is sure to enjoy!
2-3 whole Vanilla beans (approximately 1/2 ounce)
1 cup brandy, vodka, or bourbon
Split Vanilla beans lengthwise with a knife, leaving the seeds inside intact. Place Vanilla beans in a jar, cover with alcohol, and cap tightly. Agitate the mixture by shaking the jar daily for 4-6 weeks. You can infuse the Vanilla beans for as long as you would like, and may add new Vanilla beans to make a stronger extract. Once that the flavor of the extract has reached the desired strength, strain the Vanilla beans out, and bottle the resulting extract. To make the bottles even more alluring, you can insert a Vanilla bean into each bottle.
Vanilla extract will last indefinitely, and will become even more aromatic and flavorful as it ages. Homemade Vanilla Extract may be used in exactly the same manner as commercial Vanilla Extract.
Content and recipes written by Irene Wolansky. Irene is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose Herbs.