Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I'm starting early this season with alot of things, but since I'm out, it's time once again to make some homemade vanilla. So, for our Tasty Tuesday this week, I thought I'd share this early. I post it each year because making your own vanilla really adds that special ingredient to all your baked goods, I call it my secret weapon.
There really are no recipes for this, ok, there are if you do a search but once you figure out your favorite ratio it's a piece of cake. The budget comes to mind here too, because your source for the vanilla beans might change your mind, but shop around. I get mine from a local health food store that sells them by the pound, but since I only use 4, it only costs me $3.50. And I know, to some, that is alot for vanilla beans, but believe me when I tell you, it makes a HUGE difference in your baked goods. And if your like me who bakes for other's and gift giving, it all adds into it. And if you price the real vanilla, you will see this way is much cheaper and you'll have a big bottle that usually lasts me till the next fall, depending on how much I bake.
Ok, this part isn't my favorite so I usually have my hubby do it or I'll add to my groceries one week. You will need a big bottle of vodka (750 ml) or brandy, both work well, but I think the vodka is cheaper, here anyways. Now, just slice your beans down the middle length wise and you can either scrap out the seeds or leave them in. I leave them in adding to the flavor and if some gets included in a recipe, they will never know. Just place the slit beans into the bottle of vodka or you can put both into a pretty decanter like I do. Then, just shake it up daily for the next 2 months, keep in a dark place while the vanilla beans mix with the vodka to become vanilla extract.
That's all there is too it. I hope you don't feel cheated by this week's post but I had it on my mind along with the wedding so I had to remind myself to make more because I am totally out and I won't use imitation ever again, not even in a pinch! Make your own and you will see why! Happy Baking!
Posted by Sue Neitzel at 3:13 PM