Monday, November 28, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Homemade Vanilla

I bake a lot and especially during the holidays. When I saw the idea for homemade vanilla on Pinterest, I wanted to try it. It is super simple and made me feel so domestic for whipping up my own vanilla! Three supplies- super simple!

Vodka- cheap is great. Just grab a bottle at your local liquor store.
Vanilla beans- I ordered mine here, online is MUCH cheaper than your local stores.
Small bottles- also super inexpensive here
You will need about 1.5 beans (the long stalks) per bottle. I made 10 bottles with my 15 beans. Take your bean and slice it in half long ways to expose the actual small black vanilla beans. Then slice the beans across to the length that will fit in your small jar. Fill each of your jars with beans.
Next, fill them with vodka! Put the lid on tight and let them sit for 30 days. You'll see below that the color will darken as time goes on. Mine will be ready in another week and are already significantly darker than here.
Of course I had to use my digital scrapbooking software to create labels! Here are mine as a free download if you'd like.
If you want to make this now and gift it, I would just include a little tag or a note to them with the date it will be ready.

In total, I spent $31 to make 10 jars of vanilla. At $3.16 a bottle, that is about the same as the store, if not a little cheaper. I haven't used mine yet, but I bet using vodka at the liquid base instead of water like the store use, will make for a stronger vanilla!

See you tomorrow as we continue with 12 days of handmade Christmas!