07 May 2011

99 Skills Challenge: #22 Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

#22 Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

The 22nd item on Planet Green's 99 Skills list is "Make Your Own Vanilla Extract." They conveniently provide a link to a recipe and some information.

We're almost done with our store bought vanilla extract, so I wanted to get this started, since it takes about 2-3 months to extract.  Vanilla extract is even easier to make than sweetened condensed milk.  You basically cut some vanilla beans add alcohol and wait.  I can't believe no one has ever taught me this stuff before. 

As you use the extract, you can keep replacing the teaspoon or so of liquor. Leaving you with basically a never ending bottle of vanilla! (As long as you always have some liquor on hand...)

I am never buying vanilla extract again...

  • Vanilla beans - 1 bean for every 1/3 cup alcohol.  (I purchased mine in bulk from New Seasons Market for about $1.50/each).  
  • Alcohol - vodka, rum, brandy, etc. (I purchased the cheapest glass bottled vodka in the store $6.80/750ml).
How To:
1. Cut the vanilla beans lengthwise, leaving their ends attached.
2. Place the beans in a glass jar/container and cover with alcohol (I used 3 beans and 1 cup vodka).
3. Store in a cool, dark place for 2 - 3 months and shake every few days.
4. You want to protect the extract from direct sun exposure.  So you can either keep it stored in a dark cabinet but most people recommend filtering and storing it in a dark bottle.

$6.64 for 1 cup of never-ending extract.

If you prefer other extracts in your pantry, you can make others using a similar process, like almond extract.

Click here To read more about my 99 Skills Challenge.

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