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Topic: Make Your Own Vanilla Extract *UPDATE*  (Read 38737 times)
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« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2010 12:11:13 AM »

Wow, thank you so much for making this post a part of the Craftster Best of 2009! I never would have expected that. I'm quite honored. Grin

And I'm very pleased that I was able to share information that could help people. It's a shame vanilla extract is so expensive--this should certainly be remedied for the good of baked goods and their consumers! Cheesy

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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2010 05:12:54 AM »

Thanks so much for sharing it here!

I actually made it as holiday gifts for family and mr.sweet's coworkers this year.  It was a HUGE hit!

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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2010 11:04:42 PM »

I've been making my own vanilla for about a year now, and it's definitely the way to go.  Costco occasionally sells vanilla beans SUPER cheap (about 9 beans for $12!) so I stock up and go to town on yummy vanilla things.  Here's what I do:

1.  Cut up a bunch of beans and shove them in a small jar.
2.  Fill with vodka and wait.
3.  Because I have so many beans, I shove others in a big bottle of vodka to kind of 'prep'.  I even put used beans in here after I've made something, because the pods still have so much flavor and fragrance.
4.  I use the 'prep' vodka that has some of the beans in it to top off my little "every day use" vanilla bottle.

Everything I've read suggests that the cheaper vodka, the better.  Smiley  (Great news for all of us cheaper bakers!  Wink )

I would definitely not strain the bottles though!  The little flakes are beans and part of the pods and they make desserts SO flavorful!  When I'm making something like creme brulee or ice cream, I want as many vanilla flecks as possible, so shake it up really hard before I pour.  And it's what makes it "homemade", I think.

My other absolute favorite use for beans is making vanilla sugar.  I use spent pods and just keep them in our coffee sugar container.  My hubby thinks that vanilla sugar in his coffee is the best thing ever.  Last year I gave vanilla sugar (with the beans still in) to all my coffee drinking friends for Christmas.  The best part is, just keep topping off the containers with sugar and the beans will keep giving off fragrance/flavor!  I've had some beans in the sugar for a year now!
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« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2010 12:33:40 AM »

Hmmm...cool.  I might have to get my mom to try that.

I'm a fan of the CostCo sized bottle of vanilla. That's good stuff.  My grandparents used to go down to Texas every January, and they'd bring back a HUGE bottle of Mexican Vanilla.  SO GOOD!

And isn't there like Vanilla extract and then there's like, vanilla flavoring or something.  I dunno.  I guess there's Pure Vanilla Extract and then there's Vanilla extract.  Which I think that just plain old Vanilla extract has corn syrup in it, unlike Pure Vanilla Extract.  Hmmm...guess I'll have to look that up.

Anyways, that looks like fun.  I might have to try that!

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« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2010 11:41:10 AM »

I am a chemistry nerd, and while I'm sure no one else really cares, the polyphenol is from the alcohol. Anything chemistry related that ends in "-ol" is a type of alcohol.
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2010 11:50:06 AM »

I'm thinking I should definitely try this some day. I tend to do a lot of baking. I never use the real vanilla since it is so darn expensive. But this would be so much fun to try. But...I'll either have to wait until I'm age to buy the vodka Tongue or get my mom to. lol

I like the idea of the vanilla sugar! That would be a neat way to use the beans after you've made the vanilla. Hmm. I'll have to do that, too, I think. Tongue
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« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2010 06:47:13 PM »

Just a note on cheap vodka vs. expensive vodka...

If you look at different liquors in general, and rate their quality on a scale of, say, 1 to 20:
Cheap tequila is at about a 2 or 3, whereas expensive tequila is around 17 to 18. This generally holds true with whiskeys, brandies, and rums (all of which I've used to make vanilla with awesome results)
Vodka, on the other hand, is pretty unique in that a $5 bottle of vodka is around a 9, while a $50 bottle is only around a 12.

Vodka is filtered to remove most of the taste and in the blind taste tests I've done (for I do enjoy a nice Cape Cod every now and then) I've never been able to tell a difference between the cheap stuff and the "good" stuff.
Just thought you guys would want to know! ^_^

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« Reply #47 on: November 30, 2010 10:10:45 PM »

I never knew you could do this either, I always figured there was some crazy major process to be done to make extract....I'm am definitely going to give this a try :-)
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« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2010 07:47:11 PM »

I am a chemistry nerd, and while I'm sure no one else really cares, the polyphenol is from the alcohol. Anything chemistry related that ends in "-ol" is a type of alcohol.
Ah! It's been 6 years since I've been in a Chemistry class, but I feel as if I should have remembered this. Wink Thanks for the info!

Just a note on cheap vodka vs. expensive vodka...
Very informative, thank you! That's good to know.

I'm very pleased that so many people are finding this useful and so many people are giving more suggestions and helpful tips to those of us who need them! I can't say enough how awesome you all are! Grin

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« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2010 12:34:32 AM »

I finally made my first batch. I've had this bookmarked since you first posted. I never did find cheap bottles so I used a used bottle and made a cups worth. Beans are so expensive here that I'm hoping this comes out okay. (Third bottle of Vodka...wonder where the other two went since hubby and I don't drink it.)
Here goes, we'll see next month. Thank you for posting this.

3 days and already the vodka is turning brown. Can't wait.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010 07:57:23 AM by Jinjeet Phoenix » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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