Let me introduce you to one of my very best friends in the pantry, homemade vanilla extract. I made my first batch of it back in October of last year – to give as Christmas gifts, and I haven’t looked back! I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved over the past few months, a small fortune I’m sure.
As with most DIY projects, I really take pride every time I take it out of the cabinet to bake with. It’s so easy too – you just need some cheap vodka, vanilla beans, and time. You need to let the beans “steep” for about 2 months before you start using the extract, but the longer it sits – the better it gets! I keep 2 jars in rotation to ensure that I never run out.
DIY Vanilla Extract
4 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka
pint sized Mason jar
Using a pairing knife, slice each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Place them in the jar and cover them with the vodka.
Store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 2 months. Give it a shake every week or so to encourage extraction.
You can get about 3 refills of vodka using the same beans.