Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Thursday, October 13, 2016

thursday's holiday crafting ~ make vanilla extract

this is a fantastic Holiday gift idea...but you need to start now for the best results. (more aromatic and flavorful as it ages) You will be the hit of your friends and family, especially those who cook. I usually make a couple of batches and give them to my culinary friends before their Holiday Baking begins. 


Making your own Vanilla Extract is extremely easy, and is much less expensive than purchasing it. And more importantly... I know the quality of the ingredients it was made with.

 First you need premium grade vanilla beans to get a good product. (Not the dried up ones you find in the stores sometimes). Not all vanilla beans are created the same!

- 3-4 whole organic Vanilla Beans
- 1 cup vodka (traditional) or sometimes I use brandy or bourbon  

Split Vanilla Beans lengthwise with a knife, leaving the seeds inside intact. Place Vanilla Beans in a large jar, cover with alcohol, and cap tightly. Agitate the mixture by shaking the jar daily for 4-6 weeks. You can infuse the Vanilla Beans for as long as you would like, and add new Vanilla Beans to make a stronger extract.

Once that the flavor of the extract has reached the desired strength you will need to strain the resulting extract out of the jar and into new bottles. To make the bottles even more alluring, you can insert a new Vanilla Bean into each bottle and create a decorative label. Vanilla extract will last indefinitely, and will become even more aromatic and flavorful as it ages. Homemade Vanilla Extract may be used in exactly the same manner as commercial Vanilla Extract. 

 You can also make vanilla sugar by putting a split vanilla bean into a jar of white, granulated sugar. Great way to infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor for baking.



from beginning to end-- i love to watch the color deepen

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