I have never even made homemade vanilla extract before today. Can you believe it? Never.
Of course you can believe it, cause who does that? As my Mom likes to point out... they sell that stuff at the store.
2 Ingredient Homemade Vanilla Extract tastes So. Much. Better. It is smooth, robust, and absolutely perfect. Also, homemade puts you in control of the quality and quantity of ingredients used.
In my (pre I made vanilla extract) mind I associated homemade vanilla with domestic goddesses like Martha Stewart, Julia Child, and Tori Spelling (<-- just go with it).
But now, in my (post I made vanilla extract) mind, homemade vanilla is DELIGHTFUL and surprisingly SIMPLE. It takes just 2 ingredients, vanilla beans and alcohol. You can be straightforward and use vodka (more neutral flavor), or mix it up and try a bourbon variety.
Do NOT waste money purchasing top-shelf or high-proof alcohol to make vanilla. Using a 40%/80 proof will be more than fine. Store-bought varieties of vanilla extract are typically 35%/70 proof alcohol. In short, don't buy the cheapest available, but a mid-tier will be more than sufficient.
Making you own vanilla does require a bit of patience. Ok a lot of patience. It takes the alcohol about 4 weeks (more is better) to extract the vanilla flavor from the beans. But you guys.. it's so worth it.
If you are like me, and just now starting to get Christmas gifts for family and friends together.. you won't have vanilla by Christmas. No prob. Just tell the recipient to let it mature for X number of weeks before using.
So, go ahead, join me on a level,with Martha, Julia, and Tori (<-- that's really not working is it?) and give this 2 Ingredient Homemade Vanilla Extract a shot!
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: No prep necessary. 2 ingredients!
Make Ahead: Definitely. I think of vanilla as wine, the flavor gets better with time! (4 week minimum)Print
- 3 Vanilla Beans
- 10 oz (1 ¼ cup) of bourbon or vodka
- Use a sharp knife to slice vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle, making sure to leaf 1 end in tact so that the bean does not split into 2 pieces.
- In a sealable jar, combine alcohol and prepared vanilla beans. Seal. Shake.
- Store jar at room temperature (dark pantry is best) and shake at least 1x per week for at least 4 weeks.
- Make sure not to skimp on the quality of the vanilla beans you purchase. For cooking, grade A is often recommended. For making extract Grade B is actually best.
- Hobby Lobby has awesome jars for making vanilla (or any other gift basket type item)
Looking for more whole-food friendly edible gift basket ideas? Check out Simply Sissom's Instagram account where you can follow along as I make gift baskets loaded with goodies (recipes and pics included). Many of these recipes are not included on the blog?.
If you want even more whole-food Christmas recipes check out Simply Sissom's new Pinterest board, Clean Eating Christmas. It's a collection of my favorite healthy Christmas recipes from some of the best bloggers on the web. New pins are added daily!
Other Whole Food Gift Basket Ideas You Might Like: