If you bake a lot like Annie does, you’ll use a lot of vanilla extract in your recipes. That can be costly, as commercial vanilla extract is expensive. The recipe for how to make your own vanilla extract at home is seriously easy to do, and cheaper in the long run than buying commercial vanilla extract.
But first, let’s back up a bit. Do you recognize this tree?
Hawaiian Brian’s Vanilla Vine
Way back in 2008, we went to visit my home in Honolulu, Hawaii to attend my Mom’s retirement party. During that trip we went to see our good friend Brian, who has a terrifically green thumb. In his large pink pomelo tree, he had started growing a vanilla orchid vine. The vanilla orchid is where vanilla beans come from.
Fast forward to 2011, and we again visited home, this time to attend my sister’s wedding. And we again visited Brian, who was eager to show off his vanilla bean harvest which he had curing in his backyard. He had quite the spread of beans!
Hawaiian Brian’s Vanilla Beans
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take any of his beans back with us to Malaysia. But we did have a vacuum sealed package of vanilla beans that we had gotten awhile back, just waiting for this application.
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
Prep time: 20 min / Total time: 8 weeks
6 vanilla beans
2 cups vodka
1. Split the vanilla beans down the middle with a sharp knife to expose the seeds.
2. Place beans in a clean glass jar and cover with the vodka.
3. Store the jar in a cool, dark place. Every few days, give the bottle a shake. After 8 weeks, the vanilla extract is ready to use.
So easy, right?
Now, once you’ve made your own vanilla extract, there is no end to the number of recipes to use it in! And the best thing is, once your jar of vanilla extract starts to get too low, you can just top it off with more vodka!
What would you use vanilla extract in? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!