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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

homemade vanilla extract


1 cup (8 oz) vodka, bourbon or Everclear
3-4 vanilla beans
clear glass* jar

Slice Vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Place them in an empty 8 oz or larger glass jar.*You have to use glass with this. The liquor will corrode plastic or metal.  Pour alcohol over the beans. Close jar tightly and give a good shake. You should be able to see the bean pods begin to dispurse throughout the liquid. Continue to shake jar daily (or as often as you can remember) for 4-6 weeks. After that time you may use the extract for cooking/baking purposes just as you would a store-bought extract. All you have to do is run it through a coffee filter to remove the beans and pods. You can then transfer your extract into smaller containers if you want to share, which is what I plan to do. Of course, you can let your extract sit indefinitely; the longer it sits the stronger/better it gets. Due to the alcohol content, it shouldn't ever go bad.
all you need

I used a homemade everclear (moonshine) that was given to me (original source unknown) for my recipe but any of the above alcohols will make a wonderful extract-so I'm told. I made mine with 5 vanilla beans and 12 oz of alcohol which is exactly the amount of moonshine I had. The vanilla beans I used were from Mountain Rose Herbs. They cost $9.00 for 9 beans or 1 oz.  They are organic, sustainably raised and harvested and are about twice the size as the ones you buy in the grocery store. I absolutely love them.

5 bucks for 2 oz of commercially bottled vanilla extract that may or may not be made from real vanilla beans or 5 bucks for 12 oz of homemade and organic vanilla extract? I will take number two please.


  1. Love this!! I am a huge fan of vanilla extract anyway. I am one who doubles or triples what any recipe calls for! You are so creative!!

  2. Ohhh...I have to try this, my dear! Reminds me of the days I made homemade Kahlua...that was always yummy! And you'll have to tell me where ya got the moonshine when we get together again!!!!

  3. What if you don't have a coffee filter? You are so creative!!!

  4. you don't have to filter it but you'd have those tiny little vanilla pods in your food, which are edible. You could always use an extra bit of thin cloth, paper towel to strain it too.