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How to Make Vanilla Extract From Vanilla Beans

12:24 AM
Save money by learning how to make vanilla extract from vanilla beans.  Homemade vanilla extract tastes better and is easy to make.

Once upon a time, before Pinterest was a twinkle in the founder's eye, I saw online that you could learn how to make vanilla extract from vanilla beans.  I bake a lot, so I was definitely intrigued.

Real vanilla is a bit of an investment, and so is making a vanilla extract recipe at home.  But the taste is so worth it!



The first time I made vanilla extract, I didn't know what to expect.  I figured that it would taste better, but I was shocked at how much better it really was.

The first thing I made was a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  It had around a teaspoon of vanilla extract in it, so surely we wouldn't notice a difference, right?

Wrong.  Using a real vanilla extract versus an imitation vanilla is a total game changer.  You can taste the difference with just a teaspoon per batch.

Making vanilla extract is very easy, too.  It takes about 5 minutes to make a batch, but you will have to wait about six weeks to enjoy it.  If you want it for the holidays or to give as gifts, start it now.

How to Make Vanilla Extract From Vanilla Beans


Is It Cheaper to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract?


Yes!  It's a lot cheaper to make your own.  Vanilla beans have gone up in price since I wrote this post almost 10 years ago.  I was paying about $1-3 per bean then.  Two years ago, they were $18 a bean!

I now get them at the Amish bulk food store for $3-4 per bean.  It's even cheaper to get them on Amazon.  If you buy 10 at a time, expect to pay around $2 per bean.


Those beans will last a long time, so the initial investment is kinda of high, but it's totally worth it.

You could also split the cost of the beans with a friend so you get the bulk prices and don't have 5 years worth of beans on the shelf.

The best vanilla beans for vanilla extract depends on the flavor that you want.


  • Use beans from Madagascar for the classic vanilla flavor.
  • Use beans from Mexico for a deeper vanilla and a hint of spice.
  • Use beans from Tahiti for a fruity and almost floral vanilla.



How Long Does Homemade Vanilla Extract Last?


So how long does homemade vanilla extract last?  Practically forever.  Since it has an alcohol base, bacteria and other icky things can't grow in it.

It won't go rancid or get microbes growing in it, so you can use it for years after you make it.  I've started a batch and added to it and used it for five years before I started a new batch.

Can I Reuse Vanilla Beans After Making Extract?


Yes!  Those beans are expensive, but you can reuse them after you make your homemade vanilla extract recipe.

Once the vanilla beans lose their flavor for making vanilla extract, remove them from the jar and let them dry completely.

Then place them in a container of sugar.  They will give the sugar a hint of vanilla flavor.  Use this in coffee, desserts, or to top pies for a subtle hint of vanilla.

You can also use a food processor to process a dried vanilla bean and sugar.  This will give you more vanilla flavor for baking.


Rum or Vodka for Vanilla Extract?


This is personal preference, but you can use both.  Vodka has no flavor, so you'll get a more pure vanilla extract using vodka.

I use vodka because in my baking, I want vanilla to be the star and not the taste of the alcohol.

You can use rum or bourbon.  These would be great in certain desserts because they add a more complex flavor.

As for the brand of alcohol, that's personal preference.  You don't want the cheapest one that you can find, but you also don't need an expensive one.

Look for a mid grade or maybe on the cheaper end of mid grade.  Of course, if you have a higher end vodka at home already, by all means use that or your favorite brand.

I'm more of a wine cooler and White Claw girl, so I asked the clerk at the liquor store which brand to buy.  They will be able to help you choose the right one.

Recipes For Your Homemade Vanilla Extract




Homemade Vanilla Extract Ingredients





Homemade Vanilla Extract Directions


Step #1


Cut vanilla bean almost to end with kitchen scissors or a knife.

Step #2


Pour alcohol in glass container and put in vanilla beans.  Push them down so they are covered.

Step #3


Store in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks.  Swirl it around every few days while it sets.

Once you start using it, keep it topped off with more vodka.  I usually wait until I've used about 1/4 of a cup and add it back.



When the color starts to fade after you've topped it off, it's time to replace the beans.  Save your old beans for vanilla sugar as directed above.



Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yield: 16 ounces
Author:
Save money by learning how to make your own vanilla extract.

ingredients:

instructions:

How to cook Homemade Vanilla Extract

  1. Cut vanilla bean almost to end with kitchen scissors or a knife.
  2. Pour alcohol in glass container and put in vanilla beans. Push them down so they are covered.
  3. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks. Swirl it around every few days while it sets.
  4. Once you start using it, keep it topped off with more vodka. I usually wait until I've used about 1/4 of a cup and add it back.

NOTES:

Use vodka for a pure vanilla flavor.
Calories
50.80
Fat (grams)
0.00
Sat. Fat (grams)
0.00
Carbs (grams)
0.02
Fiber (grams)
0.00
Net carbs
0.02
Sugar (grams)
0.02
Protein (grams)
0.00
Sodium (milligrams)
0.23
Cholesterol (grams)
0.00
Nutrition information is per ounce.
vanilla, extract, vanilla extract
Dessert
American
Created using The Recipes Generator
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How to make vanilla extract.  Save money with this easy recipe. Pure vanilla extract makes a great gift! Use for baking for desserts or drinks. Make it with rum, vodka, or bourbon. Learn how to choose the best vanilla beans from Madagascar or Mexican beans Tahitian beans. Also includes what to do with your homemade vanilla extract and recipes to use your DIY home made vanilla in. #vanilla #extract #recipe



Cari
Cari

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, and several chickens. She loves Gilmore Girls, glitter, coffee, and her kids. But not in that order.