*warning, without giving anything away, if you normally receive a Christmas present from me, don't attempt this at home...cause then you are a Grinch and will ruin Christmas for me.
Saturday Jack and I made homemade vanilla extract. It was extremely easy (start to finish it took 10 minutes), and I'm looking forward to testing the results when it's ready in 8-12 weeks!
The process is foolproof...so says the person who doesn't know what it taste like yet.
-vanilla beans. Don't get the old crummy expensive ones from the store. These are lovely, had free shipping, and were shipped extremely quickly. And they made my mailbox smell heavenly.
-vodka or bourbon. Note if you don't drink, visiting a liquor store is like a foreign experience. I told a Jewish friend of mine that it would be like if she visited the bacon store.
Step 1 - assemble your beans and kitchen shears, or a sharp knife (paring knife would be great):
Step 2 - cut vanilla bean in half, leaving about 1/2-1 inch at the top intact. They're easier to cut than it looks like. The consistency is similar to that of a pepperoni stick:
Step 3 - find a glass jar with a secure lid. I used a quart sized canning jar. Fold the beans in to the jar:
Step 4 - pour 2 cups (for every 6 vanilla beans) of your choice of liquor in to jar:
Step 5 - put lid on jar, and shake a few times.
Store in a cool, dry place for 8-12 weeks. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be. Shake the jars every few days to speed the process.
When ready to give as gifts (hypothetically speaking of course), pour in to individual bottles. I found a great deal on this site
. As you use the extract, replace with a little bourbon or vodka, and the beans should last for a few years.
And now you have a lovely gift, that is frugal to give, and isn't full of additives and high fructose corn syrup.
Step 6 - ask your personal assistant to upload photos on to your blog:
Labels: Desserts, Don't be a lazy ass - make it yourself