I have a small confession to make.
When I'm baking anything from a recipe that includes vanilla extract,
I always add a little extra. Sometimes... a whole teaspoon extra.
Which means I go through vanilla extract pretty quick around here.
[I just really love the warm, homey, sweetness vanilla adds.]
But as anyone who bakes knows, good vanilla can be pricey.
A few weeks ago, I found the perfect economical solution:
how to make your own vanilla extract!
Cathy from bright bakes posted this "recipe", which is incredibly simple.
How did I not think of doing this sooner?
All you need are some vanilla beans, a jar, and some booze.
Well, and a little patience...
Homemade vanilla takes 2 months to age.
I decided to use rum, but Cathy says bourbon or vodka would work too.
I just so happened to have some of The Kraken [how awesome is their site?]
on hand and figured since it has a nice spicy, vanilla flavor to it already,
it would be the perfect thing to use for extract.
Even if you aren't in the market to make your own vanilla,
I would suggest trying this stuff out. It's delicious.
Hot rum and cider? A-mazing.
Anyway, back to the vanilla extract...
Start by slicing your beans lengthwise
Place them in a mason jar or other container with a lid that will seal tight.
I picked up this cute little jar from IKEA for just $2.99!
[I may or may not have specifically bought it just to be my vanilla jar.]
Pour in your rum/bourbon/vodka.
And that's it. [No, seriously.]
Just let it sit on your shelf and give it a little shake now and then.
I ended up using more beans than the 2 pictured above.
Cathy suggests using 6 beans per pint of alcohol, which is what my jar is.
[Note: I don't actually have webbed fingers. No, seriously.]
Sadly, the extract won't be finished aging until mid-March.
But it already smells incredible! I can't wait to start using it.