My daughter and I made some vanilla extract again this year. We'll be giving these bottles away at Christmas time.
Last time I made vanilla extract I purchased beans from Beanilla, I really wanted the Mexican vanilla beans at the time but they were all sold out so I bought the Madagascar beans instead. I found that I really loved the way the vanilla turned out so I ordered the same this year.
I learned I could make my own vanilla from someone on Twitter. Prior to that I would always buy the McCormick brand from the grocery store. What I don't like about the cheap commercial vanilla extract is the ingredients tend to be vanilla bean extractives, alcohol, water, and corn syrup. Why eat corn syrup when you don't have to?
So...I figured if I didn't know I could make my own then maybe others didn't know either, so here is a little tutorial.
What you need: vodka (40%), 4 oz. bottles (mine are from Specialty Bottle), and vanilla beans (mine are from Beanilla). Beanilla also has instructions on making vanilla extract
Once you've opened your vanilla beans cut them in half.
Then slice each one down the middle (do not cut all the way through, just slice the first layer)
Open the bean (the inside is where the good stuff is).
Put 5 of the cut beans into each jar. I had a package of 10 vanilla beans so I ended up with 20 pieces after I cut them in half so I made 4 jars of vanilla extract)
Fill each jar with vodka, make sure you cover the beans.
When you are done filling the jars, cap and label them. Put them in a dark cool place to sit for 6 weeks.
Here are the labels I made for my vanilla extract. If you want to use them just CLICK HERE, print on sticker paper and cut out.