Have you seen the price of Vanilla Extract lately? Crazy expensive for like a thimbles worth! As a crazy baker, I go through gallons of vanilla extract, especially during the holidays. I started doing some research on the internet and some books on different ways to make your own, I took the best of all that I read and I was ready!
I bought a bulk quantity of vanilla beans on-line (cost me about $50), some good vodka and set off on my vanilla making quest.
I split about 25 vanilla beans and scrapped the seeds into a large glass bottle (the kind with a stopper), I also put the spent bean pods into the bottle. Next fill the glass bottle with vodka and shake it up!
I let this sit for 3 months in a cool dark place.
Next, get some clean, sterilized bottles ready. If you are going to give these as gift choose small bottles and be sure they are the type that would be easy to measure out the extract.
It’s time to strain your extract. My first attempt was using a funnel with a coffee filter. I found that this was too time consuming and I really wasn’t concerned if some stray beans got into the mix. I decided on using a permanent coffee filter (the kind with the gold), this worked much better and was a lot faster. I strained the extract into a large jar.
I topped this off with about 2/3 cup of dark rum. This makes the extract a little richer.
Next I put one vanilla bean into each of my small glass containers and funneled in the finished extract.
I decorated and labeled my jars. Did I mention how good this stuff smells?