I love baking. A lot.
I love vanilla. A lot.
But pure* vanilla extract is pricey. Thus given my frugalness and my New Year's Resolution to complete more Do-it-Yourself projects, I decided to learn how to make my own vanilla.
You'll need some patience, but it time you too can have homemade vanilla extract. Pure*, organic vanilla extract can cost $7 for 50 mL! (I went to the store today and checked). I haven't done the math on this, but I am pretty sure this recipe is much, much cheaper.
300 mL vodka (the cheapest stuff you can find at the liquor store)
10-12 vanilla pods (Costco sells them for super cheap and in bulk)
Slice open your vanilla pods to expose the tiny, granular beans inside. Pour the vodka into a clean jar. Plop in the sliced vanilla. Seal the jar. Shake the jar. Store the jar in a dark cupboard for 3 weeks. Try to give the jar a shake every couple of days. After 3 weeks, you'll have a good stock of vanilla.
Once you use enough, add a bit more vodka and another pod or two. Now that you have this 'Mother stock' of vanilla, you can keep adding to it, creating more as you use it up. Homemade vanilla makes a great gift too!
Especially for someone who loves baking. A lot. And for someone who loves vanilla. A lot.
Image source here. *I use only pure vanilla extract, not vanilla flavoring which is artificial.