Hello again friends!
I have just made homemade vanilla extract-and it was a success! This has been something that I’ve had on my to-do list for years. Many many years ago, Martha Stewart had shown a simple recipe to make homemade vanilla extract in her magazine and then used them as gifts for her friends at Christmas. I told myself each September that I was going to do this so that the vanilla would be ready for Christmas gifts but never followed through. THIS year I have finally taken the time to make my own homemade vanilla and want to share the details with you so you will be able to do the same.
Although the recipe is simplistic, you will not get instant gratification. The brew will need to sit at least 8 weeks to allow time for the beans to soften and release their flavor, scent and color into the vodka.
To make this easy but awesome brew, you will only need two ingredients, vodka and vanilla beans. I ordered a dozen 4 ounce bottles and washed them well before beginning. As an added precaution, I recommend that you sterilize the bottles by placing them in a heat resistant pan or bowl and covering them with boiling water.
For my first batch, I used vanilla beans that I bought at the grocery store. I don’t recommend this for a larger batch since it is more economical to buy vanilla beans online. For my second batch, I purchased these Madagascar vanilla beans from Amazon.
To release the wonderful flavor and aroma from the bean pod, I sliced the pod from top to bottom with a paring knife. Since my bottles were short, I also sliced the pod in half so it would fit inside.
The second step is to place the sliced bean pods into a bottle. I used one opened and sliced bean pod to each 4 ounce bottle.
Once the beans are in place, pour vodka into bottles using a funnel. It is recommended that the vodka initially cover all of the bean pods.
Place the bottles in a cool dark place and wait for the magic to take place. Shake the bottles at least once a week for 8-12 weeks. The longer the extract sits, the better. Since there are no preservatives, homemade vanilla extract should last forever. You can also pour additional vodka into the bottle as you use the extract so that you’ll always have plenty of this fabulous flavoring.
I want you to know that I am totally devoted to my Mulch and Paint visitors and go over and above for them. I felt that if I made homemade vanilla flavoring, I could only recommend it to my visitors by testing it for flavor. To test my homemade vanilla flavoring, I made vanilla buttercream icing and held a blind taste test with my family. I really didn’t (nor did my family members) want to continuously eat buttercream icing, but we all made the sacrifice.
I had four buttercream icings to test.
- Icing without any flavoring added
- Icing with store bought vanilla flavoring (the cheap stuff that smells great but does not have any real vanilla in it)
- Icing with my homemade vanilla extract (although the extract had only sat for 3 weeks when I conducted this taste test)
- Icing with a brand-name company’s pure vanilla extract that is in the mid-price range
I made each sample in a bowl and marked them with colored toothpicks.
From my panel of four family members, 3 said the homemade vanilla icing was the best tasting. One ranked it as their second favorite. My daughter described the buttercream icing as tasting more like real vanilla bean ice cream.
Based on my at-home blind taste test, I would say that the homemade vanilla extract is a winner!
How much does it cost to make a bottle of homemade vanilla extract?
I definitely think that making a batch of homemade vanilla extract is the most economical. To make 10 bottles, the breakdown of costs are below.
Vodka (I used a lower priced brand) — $20 for a 1.75 liter bottle or 59 ounces
Madagascar Vanilla beans — $12 for 10 bean pods
Glass bottles — $16 for 12 bottles and lids
Total cost $48
I was able to make 10 homemade vanilla extract bottles at a cost of approximately $4.80 per bottle.
I looked online and found a 2 oz bottle of Madagascar Vanilla extract for $10.99 at a major retail store and $14.91 for a 4 oz bottle on Amazon.
This would be a great time to make vanilla extract for Christmas gifts and also for your own Christmas baking! If you choose to make your own extract, do your own tasting with your family to see if you taste a difference with vanilla flavoring and your own homemade vanilla extract.
I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you so much for stopping by Mulch and Paint today!
Until next time,
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