We've been using homemade vanilla extract for about a year, and it is by far one of my favorite DIY success stories. It's ridiculously easy - I'd even say foolproof. The result is amazingly delicious, wholesome, and generally all around impressive. And it's a massive savings over buying at the store.
|Mom, tell me how to make extract! I'm all ears...|
- Vanilla beans (I use 12)
- Resealable glass bottle (mine is a 12.5oz swingtop)
- Split vanilla beans down the center, exposing the amazing seedy goodness inside. Use a sharp paring knife.
|Bonus: delicious smelling hands!|
- Put the beans in the resealable bottle. Then pour vodka over them to cover.
|I definitely didn't overflow the bottle while trying to take this picture. Nope. Definitely not.|
- Close it up, and forget about it for at least 3 months.
|Bye, see you in May!|
That's really it. Over the next few months, the vanilla will infuse into the vodka. You can start using the extract whenever it reaches the color and taste you like. I always leave the vanilla beans in, so the flavor continues to deepen over time. You can pull them out if you want to, though.
Okay, so it's easy and delicious and your friends will think you're Martha Stewart's long lost progeny. But what about the "cheap" part?
Friends, I share with you my secret: Beanilla.*
This web retailer sells high-quality vanilla beans at bulk prices. If you're used to getting 2 beans in a tiny glass vial at the grocery store for the price of your firstborn child, buying an affordable package of 25 feels nothing short of decadent. You can even choose the origin of your beans. I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with the different tastes and textures. Right now, I'm rocking Grade B Madagascar Bourbon beans.
On top of generally great prices, Beanilla often offers free shipping deals and great sales. They also sell bottles, funnels, and whatever else your vanilla-loving little heart might desire.
Now all I have left to do is decide how to use my leftover vanilla beans!
|What can I say, life is hard.|
* If you're interested in purchasing from Beanilla, I'd appreciate it if you'd use my referral code at checkout: 5039188. Thanks!