It’s not very often that you’ll find a big bottle of vodka in my house, but when you do, it’s because I’m making vanilla extract! I love to bake, so I’ve always gone through vanilla like it was my job. If you’ve ever gotten pure vanilla extract at the store, you know as well as I do that it is SO EXPENSIVE. I found this homemade “recipe” via Annie’s Eats, one of my ultimate favorite blogs. She has a great DIY series on tons of cooking and baking staples, which I love because I can control exactly what is going into my food.
I’ve been using my own homemade vanilla extract for over a year now, and even though I’m not baking as often as I used to, I still use vanilla in my morning coffee, in my superfoods shakes sometimes, and even in my steel cut oats. It’s a great way to add some sweet flavor without adding a ton of sugar or extra calories.
Annie’s method that I use is super simple–use 3 split vanilla beans per 8 oz of vodka, mix in a sealable container, shake it up, and let it sit for 3 months. That’s it, you guys. I shake it every so often during the three months, and I keep it in my pantry (cool and dark place). I use a permanent marker to show what day I made the mixture and what day it will be usable (3 months exactly).
Like Annie suggests, I buy vanilla beans via Amazon because it is way cheaper and better quality the the dried out sad beans they sell at the stores around me. One batch costs me about $20 to make 25 oz of extract!
This is a really easy project that takes less than 5 minutes of active work, but a lot of patience while you wait your three months. Remember to keep an eye on how much you have left so you can start a new batch before you run out of your current batch–I didn’t make this new batch until I was completely out, so now I’ll be spending money at the store until this bottle is ready for Christmas baking!