Can you guess what I’m making today?
Homemade vanilla extract!
I’ve been wanting to make it for quite some time, years actually, and today is finally the day!
I’m hoping some of my beans are not too old. It took us forever to finally get to a liquor store and buy some booze. lol It’s quite ironic actually. In our first years of marriage we probably spent as much funds at the liquor store each week as we did at the grocery store!
But that was a life time ago…
We contemplated whether I should use vodka, or rum, for the vanilla extract. Hubby figured rum would be a better flavour in the long run, and I tended to agree, so we went with that. It was pretty much the same price as the vodka and for whatever reason, vodka didn’t seem appealing to either of us.
Making homemade vanilla is really quite easy. I simply googled and found LOTS of recipes which all said basically the same thing.
Take some vanilla beans, aproximately 3-4 beans per cup of alchohol.
Slice them down the middle, leaving about the top inch of bean intact.
Place the beans in a container.
I was planning on just putting them straight into the rum bottle but was a little short on the beans for so much rum. Instead, I used these starbucks iced coffee bottles. I personally don’t like starbucks, but my eldest, Alesia, loves these coffees and when she treats herself to a coffee, she brings me the bottles. They are my go to bottle for my DIY Elderberry Syrup too!
Once the beans are in the bottle, simply add the alcohol of your choice.
I’ve read that vodka, rum, and even bourbon are good. One site said you can actually use any alcohol. Most sites said 80 proof was best to ensure that your vanilla wouldn’t go bad. So we used 80 proof.
Now all I have to do is leave the vanilla extract for a month or two, shaking it about once a week, until I deem it ready! Not sure how long that will take exactly, as this is my first time. I’ll share a photo and info as I go through the process.
With the two vanilla beans I had left, I chopped them up really fine to make myself some vanilla sugar!
I used my favourite cane sugar (favourite because of taste, and cost, I buy it at well.ca when it comes on sale for 25% off).
I put the sugar and the two chopped up beans into a glass jar and I’ll leave them in the cupboard along with the vanilla extract for the next month or so, until I feel it’s ready.
If I find the vanilla isn’t really infusing the sugar, I may consider throwing the jar of sugar and vanilla bean into my food processor to turn it into a ‘powder’ to see if that will help infuse it better.
For now, I’m just playing around with what I’ve got, and having fun in my kitchen!
How about you? Have you made vanilla extract or vanilla sugar?
If not, are you planning to?
Let me know if you’d like me to share more blog posts like this one. I love to hear from you!