DIY vanilla extract!

What?  Why on earth would I want to make my own vanilla extract?  Cause I'm a foodie nerd!  I really enjoy attempting to make something that most people would normally just buy.  Besides, have you seen the prices of vanilla extract??  I mean the REALLY good stuff...  I didn't imagine it could be too difficult, it's just alcohol and vanilla beans, right?  I armed myself with Google and went on a search for directions.  I came upon this post on Chocolate and Zucchini and decided to give it a whirl.  Upon reading all the comments, I decided to do a mixture of liquors.  It turned out to be a good decision since I only had half the amount of one on hand!

I found another use for paper liners, they make really cute jar toppers

Vanilla Extract

2 fat vanilla beans
1/2 C vodka
1/2 C dark rum

Get a glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid that will hold one cup of liquid (mine was formerly a maraschino cherry jar).  Pour boiling water into it, let rest for 10 minutes to sterilize, and pour out the water.  Slice the beans open lengthwise to expose the seeds (I cut mine in half first to fit into my jar better). Tuck the beans in the jar and fill with the vodka and rum. Close the jar, shake it a few times, and place it in a cool, dark cabinet.  Let the jar rest in there for 8 weeks, shaking it again once or twice a week, or when it crosses your mind. The mixture will become darker and darker.  You can start using your extract at the end of the eighth week.  You can add additional liquor as you begin to use up the extract.  Be sure to give it a shake after adding.  As you use vanilla beans, you can add the empty pods to the jar to keep the extract going.  It will be a never ending supply of goodness!

My little jar has been hanging out for close to 2 weeks now. I've got the day marked on the calendar that I can start using the extract. See... I told you... foodie NERD!

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