|This is what it looks like one week after starting|
|2 weeks and 6 mos, respectively. The 6 mos. aged one has split beans.|
My mother always made her own pure vanilla extract. That's all we ever used, and we did a lot of baking. It smells heavenly and tastes better than anything we could buy. I wish this was smell-a-vision, so you could smell it and that's all it would take. Everyone knows that imitation vanilla flavoring is crap and you shouldn't use it. A good pure vanilla extract is best for baking, but it is expensive. At my grocery store, a 4 ounce bottle costs $7.99, and it contains water and sugar and coloring to darken it. You can make 16 ounces (1 pint) of this for $10. It's much less expensive and get this, IT TASTES BETTER! You need to find some good quality Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans for this, stale old cheap ones won't work. It needs 3 months to "steep" but if you start some now, you'll have it in time for your holiday baking or for giving as gifts. Find a pretty bottle, add a bow and your foodie friends will flip! Vanilla martini anyone?
1 pint PLAIN vodka
2 Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans (you need good quality beans for this, it makes all the difference in the world)
Place vanilla beans into pint of vodka. Don't use the fancy stuff in your freezer. Just plain old vodka will do. Replace cap, and let sit for 3 months. You can split the beans if you prefer to release the tiny vanilla bean seeds, but they will still work if you leave them in tact. It doesn't go bad, the flavor only intensifies with age.