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Vanilla extract recipe:

Saw a request for recipes for homemade vanilla extract. Here are a few: Tip: I buy my vanilla beans from www.thespicehouse.com (great vanilla beans & spices @ reasonable prices!) You'll spend about $4/bean @ the grocery store compared to 3 beans for $5.50 (Madagascar type bean)at this site!

      Vanilla extract #1
      2 whole vanilla beans
      1 1/2 c vodka (cheap-o stuff works fine)
      1/2 c. water
      1 c granulated sugar
      In a 3 c glass container with a tight fitting lid, combine vanilla beans with the vodka. Cap and allow to "steep" at room temp for 3 weeks. Remove vanilla bean and strain liquid through a cheescloth. In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool. Stir into vodka that has been strained. Pour mixture into small individual bottles w/ a piece of the used vanilla bean; cap an allow to sit at room temp. one month. Yield: 2 cups vanilla extract

      OR

      Vanilla extract #2
      2 c vodka
      5 vanilla beans; cut into 1" pieces
      Combine the beans and the vodka in a jar w/ a tight-fitting lid. Cover the jar and let it stand 6-8 weeks. (The mixture will turn amber colored after a day or two)

      OR
      Brandied vanilla essence
      4 vanilla beans
      2 cups brandy
      Cut vanilla beans crosswise into thirds. Split each piece open lengthwise. Place pieces in jar. Cover with brandy. Seal tight and shake well. Let stand at room temp, shaking jar several times a week. Strain essence through a coffee filter and fill bottles leaving 1/2 inch headspace. You may add one piece of vanilla bean to each bottle of essence. Store in dark, cool place. *essence is stronger than regular extract so you may be able to use about 1/2 the amount called for in recipes.

      Note: When the bottles of the extract or essence are about 1/2 emptied just refill w/ the same base liquor....you will have extract/essence indefinitely! and don't forget to shake the bottles several times a week:-)
      This makes GREAT gifts...found some small glass bottles @ Big Lots for Christmas gifts. Just add a piece of vanilla bean to each bottle and include a note telling the receiver to add the liquor when bottle is 1/2 empty to replenish the extract/essence!

      Melanie Mc.