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Calling all bakers and occasional bakers!

Just about everything that you bake calls for an extract, usually vanilla.  We all know that to get really good vanilla extract is going to be pretty pricey…and heaven forbid you have a recipe that calls for a vanilla bean or two!  Vanilla beans can cost upwards of $10 for ONE VANILLA BEAN!

That is incredible right?  Well what if I told you that if you splurge a little for a few vanilla beans, you can make your own vanilla extract?
After doing some searching I found a lot of the same info shared everywhere.  It is a concern that there is too much added sugar to extracts (especially imitation extracts…read your labels people).  The best way to control the amount of sugar (or salt in some cases) you consume is to make things from scratch.  I decided to make my own vanilla extract!

3 Bourbon Vanilla Beans, split (leave 1/2″ not split so the bean is not fully split)
8oz Vodka (I used Tito’s Vodka)

Place vanilla beans in a jar (I used a mason jar that I had laying around) and cover with vodka.  I added a little more vodka to fully cover the vanilla beans.  Seal the jar and store in a cool, dry place.  Every couple of weeks, give the jar a shake.  Let the vodka infuse with the vanilla beans for at least two months!

See, super simple!  Depending on the amount of vodka you purchased and how much your vanilla beans cost, you can make this 8oz jar of vanilla extract for maybe $40.  Now I know that sounds like a lot but think about it.  A really good vanilla extract can cost $15 for a 2oz bottle.  You just made four times that amount for less!

If you’re like me and do not like plain vodka, then you probably have some left over.  Well great news!  When your extract is ready to use, have at it and when your jar gets low, top it off with more vodka and make some more extract!  I plan to strain mine into another jar and make another batch once mine is ready.

This picture is of my vanilla extract after one week.  It is currently vanilla vodka but in 7-8 weeks it will be my very own vanilla extract!  I’ll update this post with the final product.

If you try making your own vanilla extract, please share your experience!  Did you use a mason jar?  What kind of vanilla beans did you use?  What kind of vodka did you use?