Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extractI use vanilla extract nearly everyday when baking. It's as common in recipes as flour and sugar. In the past two years I've started experimenting with other, gourmet vanilla extracts now and again. And I thought it would be fun to make my own-so I gave it a try!
Treats(A few treats made with vanilla extract from our archives.)

I read this tutorial from Ina Garten and decided that I wanted to cut the recipe down a bit as I wasn't sure how long it would take me to use quite that much extract. Fill a bottle with 4 ounces of vodka (feel free to use the cheap stuff for this recipe as it won't matter-we won't be drinking it!) and 1 vanilla bean split down the middle. Seal your bottle and let it soak for 2 months. Ta-da! Vanilla extract!How to make vanilla extractNow you might be thinking: Wait, I'm going to be putting vodka in my cupcake recipes? I'm not too comfortable with that idea. Don't worry-the alcohol burns out as the recipe bakes, leaving only the delicious taste of vanilla. And because extract is made with such a high content of alcohol it can be stored at room temp (and used) indefinitely. Happy baking! xo. emma and elsie