Homemade Vanilla Extract
I started the vanilla in this picture about three months ago. That’s a bit of a wait, but it’s so worth it.
Find a glass bottle with a good seal. (You’ll need to shake it periodically, so you don’t want it to leak.)
Slice about 20 vanilla beans lengthwise and carefully scoop out the seeds. Put the seeds into the bottle and add the vanilla pods.
Fill up the bottle with bourbon. (I used Jim Beam.)
Shake the bottle about once a week.
When I first made this, I filled the bourbon up to the top of the bottle. After three months or so, you could pour out the vanilla into another bottle and refill the bottle with the pods.
The finished product is so rich and flavorful, I find myself modifying all my baking recipes to include more vanilla extract than ever.
Since this is essentially vanilla-infused bourbon, note that if you are making an unbaked recipe where the alcohol will not be cooked off, it will have a vanilla bourbon taste and mild alcohol content (depending on how much you use).
Showcase your homemade vanilla extract with this Vanilla Shortbread Cookie recipe!