Handmade Holiday Challenge: Vanilla Extract

how to vanilla extract First up on my handmade holiday challenge we have (drumroll please!) vanilla extract! I know, it’s not super exciting, but it is actually a thoughtful gift for my mom. My mom is an excellent baker and cook. She has intuition in the kitchen like no one I’ve ever met. She could take some peanut butter and beef jerky and turn it into a four course meal.

The last time I was at home we popped into “William and Sonomas” (as she calls it) and I caught her buying a 12 dollar bottle of vanilla extract. I was worried that some baking kingpin was making her run all of his errands. A 12 dollar bottle of vanilla? That’s extortion.

vanilla extract Anyway, for Christmas I thought I’d make real vanilla extract for her gift. It’s amazingly easy and way cheaper than the William and Sonomas version.

Wash and thoroughly dry bottles with a tight fitting cap. I got these from Michael’s for $1.16 a piece! Split your vanilla beans with a knife and put them in the bottle. Pour bourbon, rum or vodka into the bottle. Swig a little of each. I chose vodka (left) and bourbon (right) for my extract. The vodka version shouldn’t have much extra flavor, but the bourbon will add a bit of smokiness to your baking. Rest in a cool, dark place for 1 month. Enjoy or gift!

Are you getting to work on your holiday gifts? Join my challenge and let me know about in the comments!



7 thoughts on “Handmade Holiday Challenge: Vanilla Extract

      1. Roberta

        I will! It will be a great gift for Lesley, newly married and loves to bake. I am heading down the mountain and will stop at Trader Joe’s and Michaels for bottles. I am excited..

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