5/13/08

homemade vanilla extract

Ignore the freakish arm in the picture. Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of vanilla extract. Let me tell you it's crazy hard unlike beet ice cream who doesn't have a bad side. Anyways I love the color of the sky in these pictures.

I decided I was sick to death of paying an ass load of money for vanilla extract. I did a little researching and found out you can make vanilla extract and more often than not it will be better than even the expensive extract you buy in stores.

You need:

A bottle with a cap or one that seals and that can also fit 8-10 vanilla beans. (If you don't have a pretty bottle but you have a bottle of vodka or rum that's more empty than full. Perfect!)

vanilla beans (8-10. You can buy them bulk for cheap on eBay. Cost Plus World Market sells them 2 beans for 2.99 and they are good beans with a lot of flavor. Also, if you have ones that are in your sugar bowl or have used ones sitting around somewhere, those also work.)

vodka or light rum

vanilla extract for the base

In a bottle, add vanilla beans and about 4 oz of vanilla extract to make a base. Now add vodka or rum. Let it sit for a good month or two and there you go, homemade vanilla extract. Add more beans and alcohol periodically to top off the vanilla. The longer this sits the better.

I really wanted to make a custom vanilla so I mixed some Nielsen-Massey's vanilla and also added a little bit of vanilla extract (about 2-3 tablespoons) from Mexico because it has a tropical taste and is normally too different tasting to add in normal things like cookies. I used Bacardi Superior and a couple ounces of Flor de Cana Grand Reserve Rum from Nicaragua. BEST. RUM. EVER. I received this as a gift from a co-worker who has family there. The color and the smell are exquisite and I knew it would make this vanilla extract over the top. It did. Out of everything I have ever made on this blog this one is the most practical, useful, and easiest thing I have ever made.

*UPDATE: White on Rice has given me a heads up. Bourbon also works well for making homemade vanilla extract and Costco has a good price on vanilla beans.

Also, this is what I did. There are plenty of other recipes that call for splitting the beans, scraping out the seeds, or heating the alcohol. I didn't do any of that and my vanilla tastes great. Play mad scientist and come up with your own formula.

20 comments:

Asthmagirl said...

Amazing! I'm totally impressed! Thanks for sharing that!

Love your sky pictures!

Mental P Mama said...

That is very cool. Could you make smaller ones and give them as gifts? Wonder what the ratio is?

Krysta said...

*mpm... i would make these as gifts. i'm not sure what the ratio would be. if it was me, i'd make a big bottle then break it down to smaller bottles, that way you don't have to figure out the math. just keep tasting and remember it will get stronger the longer it sits. i'm sure if you google it the excact ingredients and mesurements will come up. i just wanted to make a custom blend, so i played around until i got what i wanted.

Meg said...

Wow. Homemade vanilla. And it's so easy. How do you think to do that? I'm impressed!

noble pig said...

Lovely, I am going to make these as gifts...I've known people who do this and always wanted to try.

Krysta said...

*mpm... come to think of it... i would add 2-4 beans per small bottle. then pour the mixture from the big bottle to the small one. make sure to add the instuctions on the gift to top off the bottle once and a while. and as far as i know cheap liquor works as well as the expensive stuff.

Krysta said...

*meg... i was pissed off that i was paying out the ass for vanilla extract, i bake a lot and i could use that money for something else so i googled it. end of story.

Snooty Primadona said...

I love this! I also make my own Kahlua, which is essential to making Tirimisu. I gave it as Christmas gifts one year inside some cute bottles I'd found at Pier One.

A lot of times when I am aghast at the prices of spices, I go to the local Mexican grocery store and buy their spices, including vanilla beans, which is much cheaper than buying one of the fancy brands offered.

Mayberry Magpie said...

This is so cool! I'm embarrassed to admit I never buy extract because it's so expensive. (I use the cheap flavoring instead.) I'm definitely making this. And definitely making enough to give as gifts.

Mayberry Magpie

Krysta said...

*magpie... stepford wives are great cooks even if their food is a little robotic... i got the compliment...

EAT! said...

I made my own vanilla extract back in February - I have yet to open the bottle. I guess it is time to give it a try.

White On Rice Couple said...

The pictures look great! We've been making our own ever since the price jacked up a couple of years ago. Cosco has the best vanilla beans for the best price!

White On Rice Couple said...

BTW- Lay off our beet ice cream ECM!!! We're hurling a big,wet,red stained dollop your way! Open up wide and get ready to wipe down your walls again! :)

Another BTW- Brandy works excellent too for making home made vanilla extract.

Grace said...

color me impressed! i've never even purchased real vanilla extract, much less considered making it myself! seems like i need to make some changes around here. :)

cook eat FRET said...

thanks for this post
i needed the nudge
the time has come...

Hillary said...

You made your own vanilla extract? How very bad ass! I'm impressed!

Oh yea, we're also having a contest on our blog where you could win a package from Lou Malnati's. Check it out!

Neen said...

Wickedly cool. I also like the idea of small gifties. I'm thinking those cute Container store bottles, stuffed in a cheap-o stocking. Voila: reputation as a total gourmet geek secured for the next 365 days!

pixen said...

Wonderful!!! I made mine 7 years ago with Brandy and never fails me! When the level went down I just top it up with more brandy. Now, I have about stock 250 g of Madagascar Bourbon beans for 54 € when the wholesaler don't have the one they advertised for the same price but of lesser quality from Tahiti.

I will try next with Bourbon... thank you for sharing and I love your blog! Keep it up...

pixen

Mandy said...

I think I found what I'm giving as Christmas gifts this year! I love this post, thanks for the tips.

Mandy
www.homewithmandy.blogspot.com

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,