Homemade Vanilla

Whenever I go to Greensboro, I always have dinner with a special group of ladies.  They are especially dear to my heart, and I just love the meals we share, which are full of great conversation and laughter.

During my visit in October, one topic of conversation was Stephanie’s recent cookie contest win.  Apparently it was quite the showdown.  Her secret ingredient? — Homemade vanilla.  Homemade vanilla?  Why had I never thought about doing this?  I spend a pretty penny to make sure I use good-quality, real vanilla.  But making your own — that had never crossed my mind.

I became a woman obsessed.  I texted Matt to say I needed liquor.  His comment was “Are you having that bad of a day?”  He bought the Vodka, and the very next morning Gray and I went and bought the rest of the supplies.  I couldn’t wait to get home to start my experiment.

Here it is on day one:

Vanilla Extract

I gave a bottle to both my sister and my mom at Christmas with instructions that it would be ready January 31, and they both thought this experiment was just as cool as I did.

Here’s my bottle today:

Vanilla Exact 2

Homemade Vanilla

    • 3 vanilla beans
    • 1 cup vodka
    • glass jar with tight fitting lid

Use a sharp knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected. Put the vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid. Cover completely with the vodka. Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.

According to the directions, it lasts for years.  You can even keep topping it off with vodka as you use it.

I cannot wait for January 31!  In the meantime, I have been looking through recipes to find something extra special for its first use.

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4 thoughts on “Homemade Vanilla

  1. Stephanie Nickell

    Don’t you love it? You can substitite bourbon for a stronger flavor, but I prefer the vodka. Mom taught me how to do it.

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