Making your own vanilla extract is super simple (and fun!) but don’t expect instant gratification. The key to success is patience! I love the idea of assembling multiple batches and giving them away as a signature gift over the holiday season. If you decide to give the gift of homemade vanilla extract for Christmas…make sure you assemble it well before Halloween!
500 ml vodka
5 vanilla beans *check your local bulk food store
Pretty glass bottle
Measure vodka into glass bottle. Cut vanilla pods in half to expose the inside of the bean. Put beans into the bottle. Let everything steep for at least two months. If you remember to do so, give the bottle a gentle shake once a week. The colour will gradually darken and once it starts to smell and taste like store-bought extract it’s ready to give away!
P.S. You can keep the beans inside the jar indefinitely and allow the extract to continue to strengthen even as you use it in your baking.