I wish this blog was scratch and sniff…I really do.
This is my coveted jar of homemade vanilla that I’ve been using for over 4 years. The smell is so intense and the flavor in baked goods is bar none. It’s a simple mix of vodka and vanilla beans that I’ve been adding to and refilling for quite some time. It is by far one of my best ingredients and the scent can be associated with so many amazing things. Moms cookies, vanilla bean cake, homemade ice cream and marshmallows. The list goes on and on.
A while ago when I was teaching basic baking classes to some young boys, they always argued over who got to pour the vanilla in. It’s such a tiny part of most recipes but the flavor it imparts can’t be denied. It enhances everything else in the bowl. It’s essential!
It’s also an easy gift to make. If you started a jar of vanilla extract today you could have a some pretty awesome Christmas gifts for December! It really only needs a couple of months to steep, but the longer it sits the better. Keep the bottle in the pantry and give it a shake every now and then. There are loads of vanilla extract printables on line (like the one below from tidymom.net) and you can cross a whole mess of people off your Christmas list ~ in July everyone! That’s the best part!
What’s your favourite vanilla memory?
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- Use 3-4 whole vanilla beans per cup of vodka. Split the beans in half, place in a sealable jar and pour vodka on top! Place in a cool dark place for 2-3 months before using. Give the jar a shake every now and then. I continue to add beans that I have used in baking (however not if they have been steeped in any kind of milk or cream), and adding more vodka when low.