The Wiivers


Homemade Vanilla Extract
April 17, 2008, 8:41 am
Filed under: Cheap to Make, Random Thoughts

After hearing praise of how much better homemade vanilla extract is than store bought, I finally bit the bullet and bought the ingredients to make some.  I ordered some whole vanilla beans from ebay.

Vanilla BEans

Then I bummed some Vodka from a co-worker (who will remain nameless to protect the innocent) and put my vanilla beans to soak.

Vanilla Extract starting

I also want to get some Bourbon to try making vanilla (My favorite type of vanilla is Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, which I think it made with bourbon).  But (here’s a random fact about me) I have never, ever been to a liquor store.  I tried all my friends, but I don’t know anyone who drinks bourbon, so I will have to actually buy it at the store.  We’ll see if I work up the courage to go…. 🙂

I have 1/4 a pound of vanilla beans (minus the 4 I used already) to use.  Leave me some comments with some yummy recipes that use whole vanilla beans.

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18 Comments so far
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w00t! homemade vanilla extract is SO good. I really think it made my cupcakes taste even better. Your recipe is a little different than mine. I just scraped out the seeds and put the pod part in my sugar to make vanilla sugar. Looks like there are a couple variations out there. I am sure they all work.

I wanna try to make these vanilla bean mascarpone cupcakes soon so after i make them i’ll give you the recipe. Also don’t forget that MB this month is vanilla so I bet you will get some great recipes from there too!

Comment by CB

Wow you have never been to a liquor store???

I LOVE vanilla beans! How did the extract turn out?

Comment by Kat Graz

How have you never been to a liquor store! My head is spinning from this thought. Never? Not even for gum? I used to go to the liquor store by my house at least once daily for random stuff and I was only like 16. Quesiton, can you not buy bourbon at grocery stores where you live? I rarely go to the liquor store for actual liquor, I usally buy it at like Winco or Longs.

Comment by BBKiddo

This is curious….how the heck?! I had no clue store-bought vanilla extract was full of liquor! Maybe i’m not getting the process.

I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Comment by Jamie

CB: those cupcakes sound yummy, give me the recipe now! 😉

Kat: Nope, not ever. Check back in 3 months and I’ll tell you how the extract is.

BB: Um, in Oklahoma we go to the gas station for gum. 🙂 I know grocery stores have beer and wine coolers, but I don’t think they have liquor because of some law or something… I don’t know.

Jame: Yup, “good” vanilla has a very very high alcohol content. Now if you just buy the cheapy .98 vanilla it’s probably not alcohol though.

Comment by NinaBeth

hmm, vanilla is on my grocery list but if this won’t be ready for 3 months, then I will still have to buy some but hopefully you will share with me in 3 months.

Your papa drinks bourbon, he has tons of it all those Wild Turkey bottles he has collected for years.

Comment by Rhonda a.k.a Nina's Momma

Normal grocery stores and gas stations in OK can only sell things that have an alcohol content of 3.2 or less. Which means no liquor or beer with a high alcohol content. Most states sell liquor and high point beer in grocery stores but not in OK.
Dont really know why I felt the need to get involved in this conversation but there it is.

Comment by Jim

I love Bourbon! Not sure if it’s even legal to send jars of liquor through the mail though lol And, if you brave the liquor store, Wild Turkey might not be the brand you want to choose for your special vanilla extract (no offense to your Papa). This post has inspired me, I bet you could make some mighty tasty liquor drinks by just infusing a bottle of Vodka or Bourbon.

Comment by Kristina

Momma: I will share if you are nice. 🙂

Jimmy: I feel so honored that you commented on my blog. 😉 I knew there was some law about it, but I wasn’t sure what it was.

Kristina: What the USPS doesn’t know won’t hurt them…. What brand of bourbon would you reccommend?

Comment by NinaBeth

I’ve been dying to do this Nina. Which seller on ebay did you use?

Comment by andrea

Vanilla ice cream made with real beans is so much better than the fake stuff!

Comment by brilynn

Andrea I used Organic-Vanilla seller. A few other jknotties have used this seller also and everyone has been very happy.

Brilynn: I thought about vanilla ice cream. Now since I have your reccomendation, I have to try it! 🙂 Do I use a whole bean or just part, or just the cavier?

Comment by NinaBeth

Granddaughter, what are you going to conjure up next??? Your vanilla will be wonderful – save me a little bottle.

Comment by RoRo

RoRo: Of course I will save you some.

(I think I better head to the liquor store since everybody wants the vanilla!)

Comment by NinaBeth

I like Evan Williams and Four Roses. EW seems a bit more caramely while the Four Roses is a little more fruity, I’m sure either would be excellent 🙂

Comment by Kristina

Okay, I’m going to the liquor store after work.. I’m so nervous… I’m sure there will be a post about it next week, lol.

Comment by NinaBeth

I wouldn’t bother making a liqour store run, bourbon vanilla is not made with bourbon, the term refers to vanilla beans found in Madagascarm the Comoros, and Réunion,islands formerly which was formerly called Île Bourbon. So, all you need to make the extract is that sort of bean.

Comment by rachel

True – Beans grown in Madagascar are the variety Vanilla Planifolia – the common name being Bourbon, named after the family that developed vanilla on Reunion Island in the 1800’s. This species was first cultivated in Mexico, and now grown around the world. Each growing area has its own unique flavor. We grow this species at our plantations in Papua New Guinea and they have an astounding 2.3% vanillin content, yet a little less overbearing than Madagascar, with a smokey profile. However, the best extract is made by blending extracts from both Bourbon and Tahitensis variety beans anywhere between 30 and 70% favoring either variety – experiment till you find the right blend for your recipe.
Vicki – The Organic Vanilla Bean Company
http://www.organic-vanilla.com

Comment by Vicki




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