Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract

This Christmas, I made some homemade vanilla extract for gifts. I have to say, it ended up being one of my favorite gifts to give. It is unique, smells amazing, something everyone uses…and it makes an extremely cute gift. It would also be perfect for any time of year!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I have seen lots of pins on pintrest for homemade vanilla extract, but I did my research at Tidy Mom.

Here is what you will need:

Bottles – These Wheaton Bottles from Amazon are my favorite. I did purchase some at Hobby Lobby too when they had glass 1/2 off…those are pictured below.

Vanilla Beans – I purchased my vanilla beans from Olive Nation, they were on sale. There is also Beanilla. I would recommend getting them online, they are super expensive at the grocery store.

Vodka – It can be the cheap stuff.

Lables and Ribbon for decorating

The Process

Wash and dry bottles.

Using a sharp knife, slice each vanilla bean in half. Tthen starting about 1/4″ from one end, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise.

Place 6-8 vanilla bean pieces (that would be 3-4 whole beans) in each 8 ounce bottle. Using a measuring cup or funnel, pour vodka into each bottle completely covering the beans in the liquid.

Next, place the lids on tightly and store bottles in a cool, dark environment. Shake them about once a week. The vanilla will be ready to use as soon as 6 weeks, and the longer you allow it to age, the darker it will become and the more intense the vanilla flavor will be. My vanilla took the entire 8 weeks, you could literally smell when it was ready!

After 8 weeks the majority of the extraction process is complete and the vanilla is ready to use. The vanilla beans can be removed or you can leave the vanilla beans in the jar for the flavor to continue evolve. I remevoed the vanilla beans for most of the ones I gave as gifts. I ended up removing the beans and running the vanilla through cheese cloth just to refine it. I do still have the vanilla beans in the bottle I am using in my kitchen and I love it!

The price per bottle of vanilla extract comes out to around $6-8 each.

I appologize for the picture quality, but this is the only one I have from the day I began the vanilla extract process…back in October.  I will probably be making some more soon…if my friends and family don’t get tired of it!

Vanilla Extract 2

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DIY Christmas Gifts

This year I am making several DIY gifts for Christmas. Some are design projects and others are crafty cute gifts. I can’t give too much detail due to the fact that some people who read this blog might be the recipients of said gifts…but I can direct you to this wonderful Ultimate DIY Gift Guide. There are some great ideas…and you don’t just have to use them for Christmas!

The Perfect Little Dot Cake

I saw this cake last night while spending some time on the internet. Fun & classy all in the same cake. Featured by Martha Stewart as a wedding cake, I think it could work for many occasions, showers, birthdays, whatever you might need this perfect little dot cake for. The color palette is phenomenal…and you have to love the cake stand too. It is one of my favorites. Hopefully it makes you a little happy today!

Good Things…

I am a pretty big fan of Martha Stewart’s Kitchen Collection. The colors are timeless…they also were a big inspiration for my kitchen.  Pair any of these items with a robin egg blue or red Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and it is a match made in heaven.

You can check any of these items out at Macy’s. There are even more cute things in the store!

Upper Left Clockwise: Recipe Box $14.99, Set of 4 Sillicone Spatulas $19.99, Blue Gripper Cutting Board $24.99,  6 Piece Multi-Color Bowl Set $34.99