Useful gift giving: DIY homemade vanilla extract

diy gifts health Dec 13, 2016

Handmade things make thoughtful gifts, but of us are craft-challenged. Homemade vanilla extract only requires a couple ingredients and you can make multiple gifts in less than 10 minutes.Plus, you know it's something the recipient can actually use! 

Easy gift giving + save money on vanilla extract if you go through a pile of it (seems like I was making a smoothie recipe for a while that called for an obscene amount, like 2 Tbsp). 

Step 1: Procure some vanilla beans. I'd recommend an online source because it's likely the beans are fresher. I went with eBay, but Amazon or a bulk herb store, like Mountain Rose Herbs will work just fine. Sorry, not a lot of extra research about vanilla bean grading here. I usually get a mix of big plump beans and some less-state fair worthy varieties in my pack and they both work just fine.  

Step 2: Procure some liquor. Usually vodka, rum sounds nice too. 

Step 3: Procure some jars. You could order these from Amazon, head over to Hobby Lobby or ransack your cabinet for reuseables or mason jars with screw top lids. For this video, I couldn't find my Amazon jars (isn't that how things go!), so I just pulled out 6 oz jelly mason jars. You can easily doll them up with some string/ribbon/scrap of square fabric later for gift giving.   

Slice vanilla beans on a bias. Peel them open. Scrape out the vanilla bean caviar with the edge of a knife and put the whole thing into your bottle for 4-6 weeks. Two beans for 6 ounces of fluid. 

Freeze leftover vanilla beans in a zip lock or they will harden in your cupboard. 

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