If you’re a baker – or even if you just spend some time in the kitchen – you probably know that vanilla extract is expensive. Like $11 for a tiny bottle of organic vanilla kind of expensive. I use vanilla extract pretty often, especially since I have been adding it to my homemade almond milk recipes.
So, in an effort to save some money, and just because I really enjoy making things myself; that way I know exactly what goes into the product, I have made my own vanilla extract! It’s super easy and I highly recommend that you try this out. Of course, once you make the concoction, you have to leave it alone for at least a month (longer if you want more potency), but I think it is so worth it!
What To Do:
- Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. If you like, you can leave an inch connected at the end of the bean for an attractive presentation. You can also chop the beans into smaller pieces if necessary to fit in your jar or bottle.
- Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle. Cover them with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover the jar/bottle and give it a good shake.
- Store the jar/bottle of vanilla beans in a cool, dark place for at least one month, shaking it from time to time.
- You may wish to remove the vanilla pods afterwards; the flecks of seeds can be a nice touch, but if you want a clear extract you can strain them out using a coffee filter.
- You can also leave the beans in the alcohol and top off the bottle as you use the extract. Eventually, all the flavor will be extracted from the original vanilla beans, so you should periodically add fresh beans as well as leftover vanilla pods.
Obviously, I don’t know what the extract tastes like yet because I just made the concoction, but in a month or two I will give you beautiful people an update!
** Also, take note that you should use Grade B vanilla beans – and better yet, make them Madagascar (that’s what I used). Grade B beans contain significantly less moisture (and are less attractive) which makes them perfect for extracts, but not for baking. The flavor is rich, dark and creamy with a sweet and buttery aroma. I had originally gone to the grocery store in search of them, but 1 bean was $8, which is insane. So… to the inter-web I went! I wound up finding a great deal here – 12 beans for $6! Now that’s how you do it, folks.
Stay beautiful 🙂