If you love to bake, you know how
expensive it is to buy pure vanilla extract.
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice
because the beans are difficult to
cultivate from orchids.
You can make your own vanilla extract
right now, in time for Christmas baking...
and it's FUN!
You can find many websites that sell
quality vanilla beans. They can be quite
I bought my beans at my local health food store
for $6 apiece.
You will need three beans
about six or seven inches long.
Using a sharp knive, slice each bean
Leaving about one inch uncut like this:
You will see the fragrant vanilla
seeds inside and that's what will leach into
You need a fifth of high proof alcohol...at least 80 proof,
like vodka, bourbon or rum.
I bought this mid-priced vodka for $13
mostly because it was in a plastic bottle.
Stick the cut vanilla beans into
the vodka right in the bottle.
Now just let them sit in the alcohol for at least
The vanilla will leach from the beans over time.
Shake the bottle every week or so.
Some people say to keep the vanilla in a dark
place, but mine sat on top of my refrigerator
and did just fine.
That teensy bottle of vanilla extract cost $4.
My LARGE bottle of vanilla extract cost $33.
Supposedly, you can add more vodka as you use
the vanilla and the beans will continue to leach.
I will test this and update.
This is my vanilla extract after two months.
It smelled exactly like the little bottle extract
you buy from the store.
I was so excited!!
(It doesn't take much to please me.)
I was a tad nervous, but I tried it on
my daughter's birthday cupcakes and they
turned out delicious.
I will update you as my experiment continues.