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Making homemade vanilla extract is soooo easy

I have been making caramels like crazy here in preparation of heading out to the Farmer’s Market and once again I have run out of vanilla extract.  The local market here sells little dinky bottles of vanilla extract for nearly 8 bucks and I’d have to drive an hour to Costco to get a decent price and by then I’ve wasted all those savings on gas.

What a conundrum for a cheapskate like me!

At the same time, I pulled out an oldish bag of vanilla beans and was heart broken to see they’d gone stale.  I can’t cut those up for putting into caramel.  They were hard as a rock.

IMG_5459Fortunately the light bulb turned on and I realized I could probably use these old vanilla beans for vanilla extract.  A quick google search showed all you need is some type of alcohol and the beans and you’re good to go.

I had vodka on hand (I use it as an alcohol spray for soap making ok?!) so I chose to use that.  Plus vodka is a very neutral alcohol and you therefore get a very pure vanilla flavor.  You can also use bourbon and rum for interesting and delicious extra varieties.

For the beans, there’s all sorts of websites you can order them on.  I used the Arizona Vanilla Company www.arizonavanilla.com and found some decent prices.

There are many different varieties of vanilla beans:

  • Mexican
  • Madagascar
  • Ugandan
  • Tahitian
  • Papua New Guinea Tahitian
  • Hawaiian
  • Bourbon
  • Indian
  • Grades A/B

I chose Madagascar originally because it was the cheapest at the time.  Now I use Mexican because our Cajeta is a Mexican caramel.  Mexican is more spicy while Madagascar is more subtle.  I highly suggest trying all of them!

How to make the vanilla extract

Super easy.  Take the vanilla beans and slit them open lengthwise with a knife.  Watch those fingers!  Then put them in the bottle of your choice.  I just used an old wine bottle.  I also had to crush my vanilla beans because they were hard as a rock.  Strangely, the inside was still nice though.

Then all you do is pour the alcohol into it and cork up the bottle.  Wait a month and you have home-made vanilla extract!  So why are we purchasing this from the store?  A half pound of vanilla beans cost me $50 and this wine bottle full of extract used 4 vanilla beans and is probably $50 worth of extract alone.  Talk about a cost savings!

Vanilla Extract

Do you have a vanilla extract recipe or tip?

 

 

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Regina

We had so much fun hanging out at this farm. I highly recommend a visit here!!
5.0
2020-01-28T19:36:01+00:00
We had so much fun hanging out at this farm. I highly recommend a visit here!!

Aaron

Come here if you're okay with getting up close with animals! That's what makes the experience great.

Aaron

5.0
2020-01-28T19:37:56+00:00

Aaron

Come here if you're okay with getting up close with animals! That's what makes the experience great.

Suzie

This was an awesome experience to have! Would highly recommend!

Suzie

5.0
2020-01-28T19:39:27+00:00

Suzie

This was an awesome experience to have! Would highly recommend!

Cecelia

We had such a great time! It was a beautiful drive out to the farm and was so fun.

Cecelia

5.0
2019-10-27T04:12:15+00:00

Cecelia

We had such a great time! It was a beautiful drive out to the farm and was so fun.
5
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