Growing up I always remember my Mom baking and the sweet smell of all of those tasty treats in our home. Especially at Christmas time she would make dozens of cookies and we could eat them every day, all day and never run out until well into the New Year. I think that’s why I love baking so much. It reminds me of home. There is just something so comforting about a sweet homemade treat that was made with love. When Christmas time came around last year I knew I wanted to do something special for my Mom and so I thought making her homemade vanilla extract would be a perfect gift because let me tell you she goes through a lot of it! It was actually really simple to make and I just followed this recipe from Beanilla. Their website was actually a one stop shop for everything I needed. I was able to order a 12.5oz glass bottle and enough beans to fill three bottles all at once. They so many varieties of beans from the rich, dark and creamy Madagascar bean, which I chose, to the fruity and smooth flavored Tahitian bean! Yummm!
Are you ready for how simple this recipe is?
Take each bean and slice it down the middle leaving about a 1/2″ intact on each end.
Measure out 8 ounces of 35%+ alcohol. The recipe recommends using a bottom shelf vodka so that it will not add any additional unwanted flavors to the extract. You can also use bourbon, rum or brandy to achieve a different flavor if you wish.
Fill your bottles up with the liquor of your choice and add your vanilla beans.
Place the extract in a cool, dry place and allow a minimum of 8 weeks for the beans to infuse with the liquor.
The best part about homemade extract is that it is the gift that keeps giving because as soon as you use a bit of your extract simply add more liquor to your bottle to replace what you have already used.
I also made these cute little labels that were inspired by the labels Kathleen from Twig and Thistle made for her homemade vanilla extract! Make sure to stop by and checkout her post because she has a free printable for you to use to make your very own extract! Jake and I decided we needed to call ourselves The Smith Family Bakery Company since we made so many tasty treats as gifts for Christmas this year. I thought it was cute and we just had to incorporate it into our labels!
Check out those pretty beans in that gorgeous colored extract! Are you ready to start baking yet? I sure am!