Extract is something I use constantly and am always running out of. Keeping a homemade bottle in your kitchen is convenient because once you run out, you can fill up your bottle with unflavored vodka and the beans will continue to steep into extract. How easy and great is that!
Making homemade extract is extremely easy and fun to make. It's a perfect activity if you're hosting a girls night or want to find something fun to do with your mom and sisters around the holiday. All you need are a few supplies and an hour of your time!
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did! Merry Christmas!
- However many you're planning on giving out, double it! Everyone will love them and you'll wish you had more!
- If you don't have 6-8 weeks to allow the extract to steep, assemble your extract and make sure to note on your label "use after_____" with the date.
- When you run out of extract, fill your bottle with unflavored vodka, let it steep for another 6-8 weeks and your beans will continue to give you delicious extract to use!
- Checking in after 1/31/11 to share my results- LOVE this recipe!! The vanilla works great- have been baking with it for weeks making vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream frosting just to name a couple of things and the flavoring is great. Two things I will do differently next time- I'll put 2-3 vanilla beans in each container (4-6 split) and will look for another label that will not smudge or consider buying a large clear sticker to seal the printed label.
Begin with ordering your supplies... you can buy these wonderful little 4 oz. glass bottles from the Specialty Bottle Company at a very reasonable price:
Then you'll need your vanilla beans. I bought these through Beanilla who recommended the Bourbon Vanilla flavor. When ordering your vanilla, keep in mind you'll need one or one and a half beans per bottle.
When your bottles and vanilla arrive, you'll also need unflavored vodka and a funnel:
To begin your extract, pour your vodka, just under 2/3 cup of vodka per bottle, through the funnel into your bottle:
until it reaches the top:
Then cut your vanilla beans in half:
Then cut each half length wise:
to expose the seeds:
Drop all 4 pieces into your container filled with vodka:
Top your container with the cap and allow to steep for 6-8 weeks:
Next, it's time to prepare your labels. I ordered these Epson Photo Quality Self Adhesive Sheets. I made my own labels through Microsoft Office Publisher using a custom layout measuring 1.5" width x 2.75" length labels, which printed 10 labels per sheet. Next time I might try adjusting the label size to 2.5" in length because I found if I didn't position the label perfectly on the bottle, the top or bottom of the label crinkled over the rounded edge of the bottle. I would also look into a glossy finish instead of matte finish for the paper, but if you're afraid of testing a different paper out, the matte finish was still a really great option to use. Once your labels are printed, cut them up:
If you want to make a label for the back of the bottle, print and cut those up as well:
Then remove the backing of your paper and carefully place it on the flat surface of your bottle:
Do the same with your second label, making sure to level it with the front label:
Then finish it off with decorative ribbon tied into a pretty bow... here's your finished product!:
And your label on the back describing the steeping process and an interesting tip that once you run out of extract, all you have to do is fill it with more unflavored vodka and you can continue to enjoy homemade extract!
A perfect gift for the holidays!
That your friends and family will be sure to love!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Makes: 40 bottles
Prep Time: 5 minutes per bottle
40, 4 oz. glass bottles with cap from the Glass Bottle Company
40 Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Beanilla
3 handles of unflavored vodka
1 package of labels, 10 sheets (Espon Photo Quality Self Adhesive Sheets)
To begin your extract, pour your vodka through the funnel into your bottle until it reaches the top. Take one vanilla bean and cut it in half. Then cut it a second time length wise so the seeds are exposed. Drop all 4 pieces of your vanilla bean into the container filled with vodka. Put your cap on the bottle and repeat these steps until all of you've done all of your bottles. Set your bottles aside and allow to steep for 6-8 weeks.
In the mean time, prepare your labels. I made my own labels through Microsoft Office Publisher using a custom layout measuring 1.5" width x 2.75" length labels. Next time I might try adjusting the label size to 2.5" in length because if I didn't position the label perfectly on the bottle, the top or bottom of the label crinkled over the rounded edge of the bottle. I would also look into a glossy finish instead of matte finish for the paper, but if you're afraid of testing a different paper out, the matte finish was still a really great option to use. Once your labels are printed, cut them up and carefully place them on the flat surface of each bottle. Finish with tying a decorative ribbon into a pretty bow.