Friday, November 15, 2013

Making Homemade Vanilla Extract

I’ve heard how easy it is to make your own vanilla extract and it’s been on my to-do list for quite some time now. Thanks to the folks at Beanilla, they gave me the opportunity to try it out by sending me one Homemade Vanilla Extract Infusion Kit.

I was so excited when I opened the mailbox and saw the package from Beanilla in there! I opened it as soon as I got in the house and I found one swing top bottle with 7 Madagascar vanilla beans in it along with a small card from Beanilla about the company. That was it!? I thought to myself, where are the directions? This can’t be it! Well, I spun the bottle around and there they were…directions on the back of label! The only thing I needed was vodka because everything else was there. How easy it that?
The swing top bottle is adorable with its label on front. The label includes a blank area to write the date and the type of vanilla beans it includes. My infusion kit includes Madagascar vanilla beans which are described as having a rich and creamy flavor. Sounds perfect for baking!
First, I took the beans out of the bottle (they smell great by the way!) and laid them out on a plate so I could slice them open. I sliced them down the middle leaving ¼ - ½ inch still connected at the top and bottom. Once sliced, I put the beans back in the bottle.

Cutting vanilla beans
Second, I poured 1 cup of vodka into the bottle until the vanilla beans were covered.

Add vodka

Third, I gave them a shake and then I put them in a cool, dark place. In the pantry!

Vanilla extract after bottling

Close up to see current color - clear
Fourth, wait. Being patient has never been one of my strong points, but I’m getting better as I get older.
Once or twice a week you’re supposed to shake the bottle. According to the directions it tells you to shimmy to the beat of a B52’s song. I have to admit that I didn’t know that song and my husband was quick to look it up. We watched the video on YouTube while I shimmied and shook the bottle as directed. If my bottle of vanilla extract could talk I think it would say it’s proud of me for following the directions so well!

2 weeks after bottling. Look at the color!
I’m so excited to see how the end product turns out. Thank you, Beanilla, for getting me started on making my own vanilla extract. I love Beanilla for buying vanilla beans. If you'd like to start making your own vanilla extract and don't know where to start, check out this homemade vanilla extract infusion kit. Homemade vanilla would make excellent gifts as would the infusion kit. Add this to your Christmas list!