Making homemade vanilla extract has been on my pantry staples to-do list for a while now. Once I read a few recipes and learned how easy it is to make I made a giant batch to give as gifts over the holiday season. It's past the gift giving season now that we're halfway into the new year but with Valentine's Day quickly approaching this would still make a sweet handmade treat for the baking lovers in your life.
- vanilla beans (3 per 4oz. jar)
- vodka for regular vanilla extract (I used Buckeye Vodka for a fun twist since I'm from Ohio but any 80 proof vodka will work) OR bourbon for a fun twist on flavor
- 4oz dark brown glass bottles
- labels for bottles (I used these)
Cut vanilla beans in half length wise then cut in half long wise, exposing the seeds inside. Stuff the beans into the bottles.
Fill the bottle with vodka or bourbon. Let vanilla beans steep at least 6-8 weeks in a cool dark place like your cupboard before using.
Make a fun label for the bottles. I purchased these cute stick on labels from the Martha Stewart line at Staples, they were super easy to design and print from my home computer. I also dressed the bottles up with a felt bow, just like these awesome bows I saw here.
Enjoy your vanilla extract! Once you have around 1/4 of a bottle left fill with vodka again and let steep another 6-8 weeks reusing the beans that are already in the bottle!