Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making Homemade Vanilla

Last December, I saw cute bottles of homemade vanilla on the Gumbo Lily blog and saved the idea on my To Do list. In March I started the process thinking this would be lovely in kitchen gift baskets for family and friends who enjoy cooking.

I bought the biggest bottle of the cheapest vodka I could find. Vanilla beans were split and inserted into the bottle. The date (March 11, 2010) was written on the label and the concoction was stored away in the dark depths of a seldom-used cabinet.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

This morning I retrieved the bottle but no, it’s not ready for use as you can see from the paleness of the color. It should be much darker and richer looking. In assessing the situation I realized I used too few vanilla beans so I’ll have to get more and try again.

If you’re thinking about making your own homemade vanilla extract, especially in time for use at Christmas, now would be a good time to start the process.


Numerous ideas abound as to making and presenting homemade vanilla extract; here are some resources for you.
  • DIY Vanilla Extract with Chocolate & Zucchini
  • Homemade Vanilla: The Big Bottle Method at Chickens in the Road
  • Gumbo Lily’s recipe and labels project
  • Twig & Thistle’s recipe
  • Twig & Thistle’s bottling and labeling for Style Me Pretty
  • Joy the Baker’s vanilla extract recipe
  • Make vanilla extract with Bethany Actually
  • Project Vanilla at The Traveler’s Lunchbox


Mother Moon said...

I made some of this earlier in the year and it has been wonderful.. I will never buy vanilla again... It is so easy and taste wonderful

sassypriscilla said...

What a great idea. Have you ever made vanilla bean sugar? I love it for baking. My husband uses it in his coffee. I think my recipe is similar to this one:

I hope you are well.

grendelskin said...

Yum! I did this for Xmas gifts two years ago and had a ball - bought pretty bottles, made my own labels, etc. Shake it up regularly. I let mine extract for over six months before I called it done. Here's a cool site for geekified research:

He reviews the beans by type and origin and has now expanded to include other spices as well - yum!

Storybook Woods said...

I LOVE homemade vanilla and it is sooo easy. But you know I make mine with brandy, I think it has a richer flavor xoxoxo Clarice

Unknown said...

I've never heard of this being done before. V.interesting.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I'd love to try this! Thanks, June!

Gumbo Lily said...

I'm glad you tried the vanilla making. Isn't it the easiest thing ever? Even though yours is a bit pale, I'm sure it would still be nice and flavorful enough to use.
However, the more beans the merrier!


P.S. Thanks for the bloggy love.