Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vanilla



This post is about how we made vanilla extract for Christmas presents.  Timely, right?  I did the research, made the extract, took the pictures, gave the gifts...and here you go.  Plenty of time to give this as a Christmas gift this year.  Or perhaps it could be a birthday gift to the baker in your life.  Bean and I got to work on these in October, so they were ready to be used by Christmas.

First off, these bottles work great!

Ingredients (just 2!):
3 vanilla beans for each cup of vodka (I used these.)
1 cup of vodka for every 3-ish vanilla beans (I found this on sale locally.)

Instructions (so simple, I will do it in photos!)


Bean was in charge of counting out groups of three vanilla beans.



I cut the beans short enough to fit, then sliced them the long way.  Then Bean added them to the bottles.


I measured out a cup of vodka for each bottle, and he got to pour it in via a funnel.

He gave them a good shake, and here they are ready to sit in a cabinet and be periodically shaken!  Eventually I Mod Podged family labels onto them...but my Mod Podge and label-making skills leave something to be desired...

I kept one bottle of vanilla and have gone through about half of it.  I love it.  It is definitely better than the imitation variety!  I plan to get some more beans this Christmas (you're supposed to top up with vodka as needed and add new beans every year).  That might be part of some folks' Christmas gifts again!
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