Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Vanilla Stink Eye" or "I Swear I Never Touch The Stuff!"

How to make vanilla  extract

Step one, get the idea while browsing on Pinterest (in the middle of the night) head straight to the container store website and order the exact same cute little bottles.

Step two wait, wait, wait for the bottles to be mailed to you.

Step three, finally get the bottles in the mail and realize that you're totally dumb and ordered the 10 ounce bottles instead of the 1 ounce. Rail at decimals for a while but move on.

Step 4, head to the liquor store at 9am because you work nights and that's the most convenient hour. Sound like a total lying wino when you tell people that "it's just for vanilla extract" and you "don't even really drink". Make sure that you overbuy and choose the largest bottle you can find so that when the clerk rings you up and puts the giant booze bottle in a brown paper sack you'll be sure to look classy with a capital 'K'.

Alright, so I had a few problems getting started on this project, but making vanilla extract is actually really easy. All you need is high proof liquor ( I used vodka), some vanilla beans and a container that seals up tight.

Step 1, gather yo stuff. You need three vanilla beans per 8 ounces of vodka. You can make a ton if you like but I just made 2 cups worth this time.

Step 2, split your vanilla beans down the middle, leaving about a half inch of uncut bean at both ends (so it looks like a canoe)

Step 3, place 3 vanilla beans in a container ( with a tight fitting lid) large enough to hold a 8 ounces of liquid and fill 'er up. As it turned out my oops bottles from the container store were actually the size I needed after all, if I'd gotten the teeny tiny ones I would've had to wait to use them.

Step 4 put the lid on, give it a good shake to let the booze and the beans get all cozy, and set the bottle(s) in a cool dark place for at least two months. Give it a shake every week or two to keep things lookin right. After your two months are up, it should be ready to use.

It should also be a lovely shade of brown by then, but this is my first batch (so it's still a baby). I'll update you in two months (when my baby grows up).

Happy baking!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I gotta try this!

  2. Awesome! Heh, and I like the bit about heading to the liquor store at 9AM. I've played that card buying vodka for pie crust. Best performed while dressed nicely for the office, and with an offhanded comment to the clerk about "a case of the Mondays."

  3. I really wanna try this! I bet it tastes a hell of a lot better than the store bought stuff.

  4. I love when something so delicious is demystified. I guess I should have know that making vanilla extract was so easy, but why have I never given it a try? Thank you for the inspiration! Now I have to get myself some cute little bottles too:)

  5. Have to try it someday! Thanks for sharing!


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