Gifts From the Kitchen
Homemade Vanilla Extract
This weekends #SundaySupper is all about Gifts From the Kitchen.
Our host for the holiday festivities is Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian.
Stop by and visit her if you get a chance and thank her for picking such a fun holiday theme and for hosting this weekend’s event.
Keep reading to find the other great Gifts from the Kitchen posts from this weekends Sunday Supper below.
I’m sure you will be able to find a recipe or two for your Homemade Holiday Gifts this gift giving season.
It’s a little late to be making homemade vanilla extract for Christmas gifts but it is still doable if you include a “use after” date on the bottle.
Last month when I saw the call out for a Sunday Supper Gifts from the Kitchen theme I happened to be on Facebook when it posted to the Sunday Supper Group on Facebook.
I immediately joined up to make homemade vanilla extract. I made it once before, about 10 months ago. Not to give away as gifts at the holidays but just to make it for my own use.
And because I love making stuff like that.
I’m a mixture of cook, baker and mad scientist when it comes to stuff like this.
I still have about a 1/2 a quart from my first batch and I will probably bottle some of that up as Christmas gifts for a few close friends. Now that I have started another batch I don’t have to hoard my stash.
I’ve kept vanilla beans in that jar and it is a dark golden brown and adds a little bit of magic when you add it to a recipe.
When I made the vanilla extract the last time I made the extract in mason jars and individual bottles. This time I am making the extract in 2 large bottles then I will fill individual 4 oz Boston Round bottles that I will give as gifts.
You can do it either way.
Honestly I think using the vodka bottle itself or some other large jars works out better and is easier to handle. This way you only have one or two bottles to shake as the extract is curing.
If you fill the small individual bottles then you will need to shake each bottle every day or so. That is a lot more work and make storing a little more difficult.
You only need four things to make Vanilla Extract; Vodka, Vanilla Beans, a container and patience.
There are many sources for Vanilla Beans. Search Google, Amazon or Ebay.
To be honest the Vanilla Beans I bought the last time off Ebay were a much better quality than the ones I bought on Amazon a few weeks ago.
If you plan on using the vodka bottle you will need to pour some out before adding the vanilla beans. You will also have to measure the vodka so you know how many vanilla beans per cup of Vodka you will need to use.
The last time I made Vanilla Extract I followed directions I found online on a number of different blogs. At that time I couldn’t find one set of instructions that said use X number of vanilla beans per X amount of vodka. This time I did a bit more research and found out that 5 vanilla beans per one cup of Vodka is recommended.
I also found a great website that gives very detailed information on commercial Vanilla Extract production along with detailed information about Vanilla Beans. I didn’t realize that most commercial vanilla extract has water added to it until I read that article
They do sell Vanilla Extract and other Vanilla products. I have never bought anything from them so I can’t really say anything about their products. This is not an endorsement for the company but I found the article very interesting and thought you might too.
To make the extract simply measure the vodka and add 5 beans per cup of vodka in your container.
You can split the beans and leave them whole or you can cut them up in small pieces and add them to the jar. Either way will work.
Do you see how stiff some of the vanilla beans are? Those are the beans I bought off Amazon. Vanilla beans are very delicate and very expensive. If they are not store properly they will get hard and brittle. Those stiff beans were left in the package they arrived in and sat around for about 2 weeks before I began making the extract.
They were almost too hard to split when I opened them. The first order of beans I made off eBay also sat around the way they were shipped plastic wrapped but they were soft and supple when I opened them. They started getting hard after I opened and wrapped them triple in plastic wrap and ziplock bags as suggested.
If you will not be using many vanilla beans for baking I suggest you buy only the amount of vanilla beans that you will need to make you’re extract. Usually you will find the information about how many beans are in a 1/4 or 1/2 pound of beans somewhere in with the information on the type of vanilla beans you are buying.
The vanilla beans start to degrade once you open the package they were delivered in. I followed directions for re-wrapping them and storing them but both my purchases of vanilla beans this one ( and it wasn’t the best quality to begin with) and my first purchase hardened when I stored them.
It is almost impossible to re hydrate them after they harden. I tried all the tricks I found on the internet with my first batch.
After a day I could see that the extract was a darker color in the mason jar with the cut up pieces of vanilla bean.
If you use small jars or bottles you will have to do the math and figure out how many beans per ounces you’re jar or bottle will need. It is so much easier to use the bigger jars and count the number of cups of Vodka per jar. The recycled Amaretto jar I used held 3 1/2 cups of vodka.
Once you’re beans and vodka are in jars store them in a dark cool cabinet. Occasionally shake them. Most instructions say you can use the extract after about 6 weeks but I have found the extract to be much better after at least three months of curing. The longer the better.
Check out the difference just 24 hours can make.
Bottle up you’re homemade Vanilla Extract and share the love at Christmas.
Scroll down to see the rest of the #SundaySupper Gifts From the Kitchen links.
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Gifts From the Kitchen
Breads / Breakfast
- Pumpkin Biscoff Bread – Dinners, Dishes, and Dessert
- All-in-One Beer Bread Kit – girlichef
- Banana Coconut Coffee Cake with Macadamia Nut Streusel – The Lovely Pantry
- Pancake Mix With Apple Cider Syrup and Candied Walnuts – Tora’s Real Food
- Cranberry Hootycreeks – Baker Street
Condiments / Ingredients
- Apple Butter – Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
- Cranberry Strawberry Jam – The Meltaways
- Herb Vinegars – Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Harissa – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Homemade Vanilla Extract – Flour on my Face
- Homemade Cherry Extract – Cravings of a Lunatic
- Nutella Powder – I Run For Wine
- Apricot Pineapple Rum Sauce – Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Spiced Cranberry Apricot Almond Chutney – Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Pumpkin Butter – Family Foodie
Soup and Snacks
- A Soup For You – Momma’s Meals
- Maple Nut Granola - Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Sweet and Spicy Curried Nuts – Soni’s Food for Thought
- Roasted Spiced Nuts – Mrs Mama Hen
- Sweet and Spicy Pecans – Supper For a Steal
- Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars – Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Orange Spiced Chickpeas – Home Cooking Memories
- Turtle Pretzels – The Messy Baker
- Rocky Road Candy – Magnolia Days
- Dairyfree Vegan Caramels – Galactosemia in PDX
- Peanut Butter Cookies in a Jar – Mama’s Blissful Bites
- M&M Cookies in a Jar – Damn Delicious
- Monster Cookie Mix in a Jar – What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Biscotti – Meal Planning Magic
- Snickerdoodle Snack Mix – Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
- Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies – Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Peppermint Stick Cookie Truffles - The Weekend Gourmet
- Nutella Truffles – Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Peanut Cajetas (Peanut Fudge) – Basic and Delicious
- Cookie Cutter Fudge – Chocolate Moosey
- Pumpkin Roll – Shockingly Delicious
- Homemade Chocolates – My Trials in the Kitchen
- Hot Chocolate on a Stick – Juanita’s Cocina
- Chocolate Toffee “Crack” – Ruffles and Truffles
- Holiday Tree Cake – Noshing with the Nolands
- Salted Caramel Cookies – Mama Mommy Mom
- Fruit and Nut Cookies – In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Applepie Moonshine - My Catholic Kitchen
- Holiday Spiced Mocha - Daily Dish Recipes
- Homemade Peppermint Mocha Mix - In the Kitchen with KP
- Homemade Kahlua - That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on November 11. In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.
We’d also love to feature your own posts for Gifts From the Kitchen on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.