So, this is just a simple project that makes great gifts and can save you a little money. I decided to start making my own vanilla extract because as you might guess, I go through a lot of vanilla! I prefer to use real extract, not imitation. As most of you know, that can get a little costly. So, after some research, I decided to start to make my own. I have been really happy with the results. The best part of this recipe is that it only takes 2 ingredients: vanilla beans and bourbon. You might have to go out to buy the beans, but they are easy to find in any natural food store and you will definitely get your money's worth as they last for a long time. If you are like me, I am sure you have bourbon or whiskey in your house. If not (let me know, cause I won't be visiting,) go get you the biggest bottle! You will need something to sip on while you are waiting for your extract be ready to use!
3 vanilla beans
1 cup bourbon (you can also use vodka or rum)
Using a knife, make an incision in 1 of the vanilla beans starting 1 inch from the end and continuing lengthwise through the remainder of the bean. Repeat with the remaining 2 beans.
Place the vanilla beans in a 1-pint glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the vodka, rum, or bourbon and push the beans down until they are completely submerged. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month, shaking it once a week. The vanilla flavor will intensify the longer the beans remain in the infusion.
Store the extract for up to 1 year. As you use it up, top the jar off with enough liquor to keep the beans submerged, replacing the vanilla beans as they start to lose their flavor (about every 3 to 6 months).
Recipe from Chow