Do you know you can make your own vanilla extract?
Vanilla extract, made from vanilla beans and vodka, is one of the key ingredients that goes into cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and loads of other baked goods, but guess what? It only takes about 10 minutes to procure some of your own from scratch.
You’ll need just a few items: either Grade A Vanilla Beans or Grade B Vanilla Beans, as well as either vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum. As the classification implies, the Grade A beans are more premium, but they are also more expensive, and you can get the job done with Grade B (extract) beans just as effectively. It may simply take a little longer to allow Grade B beans to work their magic.
What about the liquor? Here, you want to choose an 80-proof version of one of above-mentioned varieties. Vodka works best because of its mostly neutral taste.
Once you have the ingredients, the only other thing you need is a good container or bottle. Swing-top bottles are recommended because the vanilla beans are lengthy and require something shaped that way to accommodate them. Consider using a funnel to pour the alcohol (which doesn’t have to be pricey liquor either) into the bottle without spilling.
That’s all you need to do. For best results, let the vanilla extract steep for at least a month (or even a year) and let it basically age like a fine wine into perfection.
Sweet Melissa Patisserie is pleased to share this fun and quick recipe with you. Since 1998, we’ve endeavored to bring our patrons the best baked goods and savory offerings that are made from scratch, just like you could do with this recipe.
Want to know where you can get more great ideas for fun recipes? Check out Melissa Murphy’s The Sweet Melissa Baking Book: Recipes from the Beloved Bakery for Everyone’s Favorite Treats. In it we cover how to make everything from delicious brownies to mouth-watering chocolate chip cookies!
If you’re in the Lebanon, New Jersey area, we’d love for you to visit Sweet Melissa Patisserie, located at 56 Payne Road. Don’t forget to preview our savory menu first. We’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come see us soon!