Saturday, December 15, 2012

DIY Vanilla

Dear friends,

I have been missing you!  For all of us, this is a busy time of year and I've been, well, busy doing many things, but not blogging.  While I was busy, I have had some things in the works that did not need my constant attention and finally got one of those finished.

Several weeks ago I decided to make some vanilla.  There were several blogs where tutorials were given so I combined the information and bought supplies.

I know nothing about brandy, so just bought a bottle.  I forgot to take a photo while it was still full. And, no, I did not drink it!  The beans I ordered from Amazon after checking the price at the local grocery store.  These were much more economical.  (The silver tray was given to me from my son who found it somewhere and thought I'd like it -- I do!)
The instructions I found agreed on using 1 cup of brandy (or vodka) to 1 bean.  I just used jars from bottled marinara sauce that had been washed and dried.  I slit the beans lengthwise to release the flavor and the seeds. Then, the waiting begins.  Most instructions said to wait at least 6 weeks while the beans flavored the liquor.  I waited more than that as I didn't have time to bottle the results until this week.

You can see the seeds in the empty jar.  I used a funnel to fill the bottles which were from Hobby Lobby and other places where I found pretty bottles.  I'm only showing three here, but there is MUCH more vanilla!
When I tasted the vanilla, it tasted like brandy to me, so I tasted the purchased vanilla I had in my pantry and -- it tasted like liquor as well.  All these years I've been using vanilla I had never tasted it except in the finished baked goods.  Who knew it tasted like liquor?


 I think the results will make lovely gifts to my baking friends and family, don't you?

I put a fresh bean in each of the bottles and will tie a pretty ribbon around the top.
Do you make any of your Christmas gifts?  I love the way these look -- hope my friends and family do too!
Blessings to you during this busy time of year.
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Botanic Bleu said...

Oh, I love how vanilla makes things taste so much richer. I'll bet your homemade vanilla will make things taster EVEN richer!

I just know your family and friends are going to really like receiving a bottle of homemade vanilla flavoring.

Merry Christmas, Judith

Kathy Moody said...

What a great idea, and perfect for gifts! I want to do this. Thanks for the info on ordering from Amazon and the great tutorial.

They look so pretty, and the tray your son gave is beautiful! :) Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent!! So thrilled to have you.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy and Blessed New Year!


Katie Drane said...

Wow, this is great! And what a fun gift idea. I'm so glad to be your newest follower, I love your blog!