One last gift idea for the week…Vanilla Extract! I am constantly using vanilla in my kitchen and it is such an expensive item to buy. Making it for yourself and as a gift for friends and family makes a lot of sense.
Another option is a smaller 4.25 oz bottle which would be the perfect size if you are needing to make more quantities. You can buy 20 of them here for $59.99.
On to the vanilla beans, they are expensive no matter where you buy them.
In my local grocery store I found 2 beans for $12.89. On Amazon you can buy them in bulk and save some money. I found some Tahitian vanilla beans in a pack of 4-6 for $15.99. You can find those here.
Buy the cheapest vodka that you can find, the quality does not matter when making vanilla extract. Once you have your two ingredients and your bottle; you are set.
I used 1 cup of vodka and three vanilla beans in my 8.5 oz bottle. If you are using smaller 4.25 oz bottles, you would use 1/2 cup of vodka and 1 1/2 vanilla beans.
Cut your beans in half lengthwise; scrape out seeds and add them and the pods to the vodka.
The vodka and vanilla beans need to be shaken daily and it is best to let the mixture sit for 8 weeks before using. If you are giving these as gifts this holiday include a note with these instructions. Have fun making a label and choose some beautiful ribbon for this special handmade gift.
I hope you give this a try. It is a more costly gift but one that friends and family will use and appreciate. It will take most people and year or more to use up 8 oz of vanilla extract.
- 1 cup vodka
- 3 vanilla beans
Pour vodka into a 8.5 glass bottle.
Place vanilla bean on a cutting surface. Using the tip of a paring knife cut the bean lengthwise. Use the edge of the knife to scrape the seeds loose from the pod. Place seeds and scraped out pods in bottle with vodka.
Shake mixture once a day.
Vanilla extract can be used after 8 weeks.