How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Homemade vanilla extract takes just two ingredient vanilla beans and alcohol.

It does take more time than I would like, especially getting ready for the holidays and gift-giving so you have to start early.


Give yourself two to three months for this to steep.


Surely, it's worth a bit of patience as you wait for the alcohol to extract the flavor from the beans.


The delicious results are going to make you and anyone you give this too appreciative for the taste and the results it gives for all their baking needs.


The best tasting vanilla you will ever have an so easy and much more economical for holiday baking needs.


Start Christmas in July, you will love the results from this easy homemade pantry staple!


Vanilla prices have climbed so high because of weather, cross-pollination and extreme weather issues.


All of these variables have made vanilla to soar to a very expensive spice, it's much more economical to make your own.


Bonus recipes at the end for Mint, Almond, Lemon, and Orange extracts too! Don't miss this post!


Scroll all the way down to the end to for a printable copy on How to Make Homemade Vanilla and more Extracts.






These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe






I love making homemade extracts, they're so easy!



Have you ever tried them?


Just a few ingredients and you're on your way to an economical way to make delicious vanilla for all your baking needs and gift-giving throughout the whole holiday season.


Mark your calendars in July, you will need to get this started!




These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe



Bourbon or Madagascar vanilla has the classic, robust flavor that one typically associates with vanilla.


Tahitian vanilla is subtly fruity and floral, while Mexican vanilla tends to be smooth and spicy.



Create either one of those extracts using one or the other beans recommended or a blend of beans to invent your own blend it’s up to you!




these are the chocolate chip cookies with real vanilla homemade extract in the background that is in a bottle and brown all ready for Christmas gift giving.




What Alcohol to Use?



Vodka has the most neutral flavor, but you can also use bourbon, brandy, or rum to create unique extracts.


I usually get the vanilla beans at a specialty shop or online.


I prefer to use a good grade bourbon, vodka or brandy, but you don't have to use an expensive one they all work, I just prefer the 80 proof middle of the line alcohols.


I have used both top shelf and lower-end ones 40 proof ones and they really are both fine, but the proof that's 40 seems to take longer to get a stronger vanilla taste, just my opinion.




These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe






From My Own Experiences:



Let the vanilla beans infuse for a minimum of at least one month but 3 to 4 months is much stronger in flavor and the way I like mine.


You can also use more beans to speed up the process.


If giving this as a gift before the infusion is complete, add instructions to a tag with the bean still in the jar to steep longer.


Vanilla extract gets better over time just like a fine wine.



this is the tools you will need when making homemade vanilla extract. Mason jars, coffee filters, clean bottles, strainer and funnel along with a cutting board and knife




Ingredients and Equipment Suggestions You Will Need:


  • 3 to 5 vanilla beans
  • alcohol such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Clean mason jars or new bottles
  • Used and cleaned glass bottles
  • Small funnel
  • Coffee filter



These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe



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these are kitchen hack photos of homemade staple ingredients




Pin for later:



this is a pin that has a photo of ingredients on how to make pure vanilla homemade extract with vanilla beans



Scroll to the End for a Printable Copy





Vanilla Vodka, Bourbon or Rum Extract Recipe



1/2-pint Vodka, Bourbon or Rum

4 Vanilla beans recommended (Madagascar)

Seal tight bottles

Glass mason jar


Cut vanilla beans lengthwise with scissors so the bean stays intact.


Pour vodka into a glass capped container like a mason jar so you can see how it's coming along.


Add vanilla beans to container all the way to the bottom of the jar and store in a dark place covered. It will take 2 months for the vanilla extract to mature. After the 2-month cycle has finished, strain the liquid through a coffee filter, or strainer and place in a capped bottle. Makes eight ounces or( one cup.) You can now store in a decorator bottle. When giving as gifts, putting a whole bean inside the bottle gives it continued flavor and looks great!





These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe




Brandy Vanilla



1 cup Brandy

1 whole vanilla bean


Place Brandy into a glass capped tight bottle.

Add one vanilla bean.

Wait. It will take 3-weeks for vanilla to cure properly.

Pour into a bottle that has a cap on it.


These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe




More Notes and Tips:


  • Stronger Extract: Use a high proof of alcohol and scrape the seeds from the bean.
  • Weaker Extract: Use lesser proof of alcohol and soak beans intact.
  • To strain for future storage use a coffee filter.
  • Vodka usually gives the highest alcohol content. Brandy adds additional flavor which is my favorite but not the traditional vanilla.
  • Using a variety of vanilla pods you can find some from (Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahitian, Mexican) these will produce an extract with a much more stronger flavor and wonderful aroma.
  • Shake vanilla bottle before each use.
  • On the subject of vanilla beans, they last a long time in the package, however over time they do get moldy if you don't use them. So, make extracts! Try and buy them when needed and freezing is not recommended, they last around 6 months to a year in a cool dry place.
  • General Rule of Thumb: Use 3 to 5 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol and add more accordingly if making a larger quantity extract.



Christmas in July



Being from an Italian family, we bake a lot of cookies, cakes, and even eggnogs, for Christmas.


We also use lots of vanilla during those holiday months.


Not only is making this vanilla homemade economical, but it brings another level of homemade goodness to that love for baking to anyone that uses it.


It really needs to be started in July to make strong vanilla, so don't procrastinate.


This will be something to mark on your calendars every year.


The first time you make your own homemade vanilla, you're going to look back and wonder what took you so long!



these are the chocolate chip cookies with real vanilla homemade extract in the background that is in a bottle and brown all ready for Christmas gift giving.



Watch My Quick Video on Making Extracts







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this is a pin that has a photo of ingredients on how to make pure vanilla homemade extract with vanilla beans



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Homemade Kitchen Pantry Staples




These are bottles of alcohol used to make homemade extracts with vanilla beans. In this photo are vodka, brandy bottles and the bottle of brown vanilla and beans all used in this recipe




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these are mint, orange and lemon flavored extracts in bottled and in mason jars with bourbon and vodka in the background on a kitchen table




For All Extracts Below Use Vodka or Bourbon:


Mint Extract

1 cup mint leaves
Vodka

Orange Extract

1 large navel orange seeded
Vodka 80 proof

Lemon Extract

1 lemon seeded
Vodka 80 proof

Almond Extract

15 or more raw almonds, chopped (unsalted, untoasted)

To make Mint Extract:


Stuff washed mint leaves ( at least 1 cup or more) into your glass bottle.
Using a straw, or kabob skewer, lightly push the leaves inside a mason jar.
Add vodka, filling up the bottle leaving around 1 inch.

Every few days, stir the jar and turn or shake upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.

After 5-6 weeks, it's ready. Remove leaves or they become bitter.


To make Orange Extract:


Peel thin strips of zest from the orange don not use white parts, as they are bitter.
Place zest into a mason jar.
Add vodka, filling up to the top of the jar.
Every few days, shake it or tilt upside down.
After 5-6 weeks, it's ready, leave peel inside the jar.

To make Lemon Extract:

Peel thin strips of zest from your lemon.
Repeat the same instructions as the orange recipe.


To make Almond Extract:



Blanch your raw almonds
Take your 15 almonds and put them into a pot of boiling for one minute.
Drain quickly and rinse with cold water.
Lay almonds out on a paper towel to cool.
The skins should look shriveled.
Once come cool enough to touch you should be able to just squeeze the almonds from the skins (discard skins). Then put them on another paper towel and allow them to finish drying.
Rough chop your blanched almonds and place those in the mason jar.
Pour your vodka over the chopped almonds and put on the lid tight.
Shake the jar and place it in a dark place, cool not hot or warm.
Steep this for at least 6 weeks to 8 weeks, again the longer the better.
As with another extract, tilt daily for blending flavors or shake it.
Strain your finished homemade almond extract through a coffee filter.





these are the chocolate chip cookies with real vanilla homemade extract in the background that is in a bottle and brown all ready for Christmas gift giving.




Printable Copy






How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yield: 1 cup
Author:
prep time: cook time: total time:
Vanilla extract is so expensive to buy, all you need is some alcohol, vanilla beans, bottles and patience for it to make it as it sits. Great for gifts, and all your baking needs. Always be ready to make this around 2 to 3 months before holiday baking arrives!

ingredients:

  • Below is how to make Vanilla extracts and tips:
  • Vanilla Extract using Vodka
  • Vanilla Extract using Brandy
  • Vanilla beans
  • Alcohol of choice I use 80 proof middle of the line 
  • Vodka, Bourbon or Brandy or Rum
  • Tools:
  • coffee filter for straining
  • cutting board and knife
  • clean mason jars or bottle decorative for gift-giving
  • Other Flavors below use Vodka and Bourbon 
  • Mint, Almond Orange and Lemon Extracts

instructions:

How to cook How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

  1. Brandy Extract Recipe:
  2. 1 cup Brandy
  3. 1 whole vanilla bean
  4. Place brandy into a glass capped tight bottle.
  5. Add one vanilla bean.
  6. Wait. It will take 3-weeks for vanilla to cure properly.
  7. Pour into a bottle that has a cap on it.
  8. Vanilla Extract using Vodka Bourbon or Rum
  9. 1/2-pint (1-cup) Vodka, Bourbon or Rum
  10. 4 Vanilla beans recommended (Madagascar)
  11. Seal tight bottles
  12. Glass mason jar
  13. Cut vanilla beans lengthwise with scissors so the bean stays intact.
  14. Pour vodka into a glass capped container like a mason jar so you can see how it's coming along.
  15. Add vanilla beans to container all the way to the bottom of the jar and store in a dark place covered. It will take 2 months for the vanilla extract to mature. After the 2-month cycle has finished, strain the liquid through a coffee filter, or strainer and place in a capped bottle. Makes eight ounces or( one cup.) You can now store in a decorator bottle. When giving as gifts, putting a whole bean inside the bottle gives it continued flavor and looks great!
  16. Please Read All TIps in this Blog article provided.
  17. For other flavored Extracts:
  18. For All Extracts Below Use Vodka or Bourbon:
  19. Mint Extract
  20. 1 cup mint leaves
  21. Vodka
  22. Orange Extract
  23. 1 large navel orange seeded
  24. Vodka 80 proof
  25. Lemon Extract
  26. 1 lemon seeded
  27. Vodka 80 proof
  28. Almond Extract
  29. 15 or more raw almonds, chopped (unsalted, untoasted)
  30. To make Mint Extract:
  31. Stuff washed mint leaves ( at least 1 cup or more) into your glass bottle.
  32. Using a straw, or kabob skewer, lightly push the leaves inside a mason jar.
  33. Add vodka, filling up the bottle leaving around 1 inch.
  34. Every few days, stir the jar and turn or shake upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  35. After 5-6 weeks, it's ready. Remove leaves or they become bitter.
  36. To make Orange Extract:
  37. Peel thin strips of zest from the orange don not use white parts, as they are bitter.
  38. Place zest into a mason jar.
  39. Add vodka, filling up to the top of the jar.
  40. Every few days, shake it or tilt upside down.
  41. After 5-6 weeks, it's ready, leave peel inside the jar.
  42. To make Lemon Extract:
  43. Peel thin strips of zest from your lemon.
  44. Repeat the same instructions as the orange recipe.
  45. To make Almond Extract:
  46. Blanch your raw almonds
  47. Take your 15 almonds and put them into a pot of boiling for one minute.
  48. Drain quickly and rinse with cold water.
  49. Lay almonds out on a paper towel to cool.
  50. The skins should look shriveled.
  51. Once come cool enough to touch you should be able to just squeeze the almonds from the skins (discard skins). Then put them on another paper towel and allow them to finish drying.
  52. Rough chop your blanched almonds and place those in the mason jar.
  53. Pour your vodka over the chopped almonds and put on the lid tight.
  54. Shake the jar and place it in a dark place, cool not hot or warm.
  55. Steep this for at least 6 weeks to 8 weeks, again the longer the better.
  56. As with another extract, tilt daily for blending flavors or shake it.
  57. Strain your finished homemade almond extract through a coffee filter.
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this is a pin that has a photo of ingredients on how to make pure vanilla homemade extract with vanilla beans

11 comments

  1. Excellent tips for a vital ingredient in desserts.
    I didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing!

    Meantime I hope you'll have Wonderful 2010!!

    Cheers,

    Gera

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love do-it-yourself stuff like this. Plus, homemade always tastes better, right?

    ReplyDelete
  3. @gera your welcome!
    @tastytrix oh yes the smell is awesome alone no less the taste of this :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been doing this for years and can't remember when I've bought commercial extract. I've been buying very high quality beans on Ebay ($11.00 included shipping for 18 high grade, moist, organic beans the last time I bought some in November). Like you, I use brandy (that same brand you show in your photo even, lol!), and even sherry is nice. I make a few bottles in the fall and rebottle the extract in cute glass bottles they sell at the dollar store to give as Christmas gifts. I don't discard the beans that have been steeping--I liquefy them with a bit of brandy and use the paste in recipes where the dark color won't be an issue (like oatmeal cookies or dark colored quick breads).

    ReplyDelete
  5. @kathyvegas thanks for those great tips, I didn't even think to go to the dollar store for the bottles, will try there. That is so much a coincidence that you even use the same brandy! too funny, thanks Kathy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love these. Rec'd some for Xmas as gifts - I have yet to do this.... one day....

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Claudia It's so easy, I love the brandy its the easiest way

    ReplyDelete
  8. hello I have already eaten the dough with polenta in Italy and found it delicious !! I wish you a very happy new year 2010 with many new cooking findings !! cheers from Pierre a french foodie in Paris

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh thanks so much for sharing this! Finally, I can make my own vanilla extract at home. yay!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amiable brief and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Easily I to but I dream the collection should acquire more info then it has.

    ReplyDelete

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