If you have any bakers in your life, consider giving them a bottle of homemade vanilla extract for the holidays this year. Most bakers invest in pure vanilla extract for their baked goods, knowing its flavor is far superior to less-expensive imitation extract. However, homemade vanilla extract even puts store-bought pure extract to shame. It’s just pure, clean vanilla, void of any high-fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners that store-bought extracts rely on.
Making homemade extract may sound intimidating, but it’s really a simple process. Take vanilla beans and alcohol (vodka or rum), combine, and let it sit at room temperature. I’m bringing this up now because although it’s not difficult or time consuming to make, it does require about six months to age and develop the flavor. So if you plan to gift it for the holidays, start the process now. Continue reading