make your own extract
Making your own vanilla extract is one of the easiest things to prepare. Even if you don’t bake often, it is something that you can make and have on reserve for the times that you are making something that calls for vanilla extract. It doesn’t require any special equipment. You get more bang for your buck when you make your own vanilla extract and a higher quality product than most conventional offerings of extract at most grocers. You just need any brand of vodka. The vodka doesn’t need be expensive. I have used Tito’s and I have also used Grey Goose. I don’t detect any difference in my final product with either of the vodka brands. You also need Madagascar whole vanilla beans. I usually order organic Madagascar vanilla beans from Amazon. You can use a mason jar with a lid. I personally use 16 oz swing top glass bottles. I also order them from Amazon and use them to make and store kombucha in as well. If you are using the bottles, you may need a funnel as well when pouring the vodka into them.
You will need enough vodka to fill your bottle or jar and 10 vanilla beans. Clean the bottle or jar, set aside. Split the vanilla beans length wise and place in the jar or bottle. Pour vodka over the vanilla beans, filling the jar or bottle with just a small amount of space left. Store at room temperature. It should be ready to use in 3 weeks but the longer you let it cure the more enhanced flavor will be. Ideally, it is left for 3 months or more before using. I have used it in 3 weeks, and it was fine and flavorful. I usually make 2 bottles at a time and just have them on reserve. It doesn’t go bad. Of course, you can make other variations, you can use rum or bourbon instead of vodka. I have only used vodka but it’s the same process if you want you use another liquor. I have used various brands of vanilla flavoring and I find my own to be superior. The only thing that surpasses it is vanilla bean paste, which I haven’t tried my hand at making…yet. Vanilla flavoring is one of the lowest maintenance things to prepare that also elevates your dishes.
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