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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract


I saw this post on The Italian Dish last year, and I LOVED this idea!  I immediately made plans to give homemade vanilla extract to my friends and coworkers this Christmas.  It is SO easy!  You only need two ingredients - vanilla beans and vodka.  Who knew it was so simple?!   Make sure to plan ahead - this needs to steep for about 8 weeks before it is ready to use.  I started this back in October so I could give it out at Christmas.

I used The Italian Dish's recommendations for supplies.  I got the Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Beanilla, the bottles from Speciality Bottle Company and the labels from My Own Labels.



The cards are from moo.com - I love them!  I even decorated the Plain Chicken for Christmas.




Homemade Vanilla Extract

4 oz unflavored vodka
1 1/2 vanilla beans, split

Combine in a 4 ounce bottle and let steep for 8 weeks.  As you use the extract, fill the bottle up with more vodka and you will have extract forever.


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22 comments:

  1. I love this idea. I'm putting it on my calendar for next year. Also love the card idea from moo.com. Great information Stephanie.

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  2. Easy and I'm sure a lot cheaper in the long run.

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  3. I am one of the lucky friends! I was thrilled to get mine and will be using it this week. Thanks Steph!

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  4. What a great idea! Can you tell us how much it ended up costing per 4 oz. gift? Thanks!

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  5. Megan - it ended up being around $2 per bottle. It just depends on which vodka you use and which vanilla beans you buy. I bought a pound of beans and am using the leftovers to bake with and I might make vanilla sugar too. It seems like a lot of $$ when you buy everything, but it works out to be really affordable per gift. People really liked it.

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  6. Tips like this are one of my favorite things about blogging!

    I have two vanilla beans just waiting to be used. Now I just have to procure some bottles today and some vodka.

    Thanks for posting this!

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  7. I love the way you packaged your extract. My wife tried this about a year ago and for some reason it never really turned out...the flavor was minimum even about 3 months of soaking. Not sure what went wrong but would love to try it again especially to for a gift.

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  8. Can you please add me to your Christmas Gift List for this FABULOUS substance? :0)

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  9. Here is my question: since you have to steep it for 8 weeks, when you add the vodka the second time to refill do you have to let it sit another 8 weeks? How does that work?

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  10. Shana - I just add a little vodka as I use the vanilla. I don't wait until it is empty. If you do wait until it is really low, then I would give it 4-6 weeks to build back up.

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  11. My dad has been doing this for a few years. We always get compliments on how good our vanilla is. He says the cheap vodka works just as well as pricey. He often uses Grolish beer bottles, the flip top lid makes a great seal.

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  12. My dad has been doing this for a few years. We always get compliments on how good our vanilla is. He says the cheap vodka works just as well as pricey. He often uses Grolish beer bottles, the flip top lid makes a great seal.

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    Replies
    1. Love the beer bottle idea - those are perfect!

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  13. I am going to try this this year, but I have a question. Once you start using the vanilla, is it best to remove the beans? I'm just wondering if they come sliding out when you're trying to measure the vanilla. I'm just concerned that could create a mess. Or is it not such a problem? Thank you!

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  14. WOW, who knew. I think I will be trying this :)

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  15. Can't wait to give this a try - just ordered my vanilla beans today.

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  16. Steph, I'm still using mine (refilling as needed). I think of you every time and it makes me happy!

    Love you and miss you!

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  17. Hey there.. Just got all my supplies this weekend except the vodka.. Any specific brand you found works better than the other. I also got the amber bottles. Did you use clear or amber?

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    Replies
    1. I used clear bottles, but amber should be fine. I used Smirnoff vodka - you don't want to use anything too expensive since you aren't drinking it.

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