I prefer to use real vanilla extract rather than the less expensive imitation vanilla flavoring, especially when I found out that imitation vanilla is made from the waste product of paper mills... Ewwww!!!
I also hate paying $5 or more for a tiny bottle of vanilla extract, hence the search for a way to make it myself.
It's super easy... here's what I did...
4 or 5 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka
Split the vanilla beans in half (no need to scrape out the seeds, just split them in half) and cut them into pieces that will easily fit into the half-pint canning jar.
Voila!!!! Vanilla Extract!
Store the extract in a cool, dark place, giving the jar a shake every day for about six weeks... you will notice the color begin to darken to amber as the days pass... this is what you want to happen.
After six weeks (give or take) the extract is usable... you may or may not choose to strain out the vanilla beans, the extract will continue to strengthen if the beans stay in and that's a good thing.
If stored in a cool, dark place, the extract will keep pretty much indefinitely.
|Vanilla Extract a few hours after adding the vodka... it's already starting to get that golden amber color... should darken more with age.|
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