When baking you use various extracts to flavor your treats. Most basic extracts can be purchased at your grocery store. Now if you have ever bought a high quality vanilla extract like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, you know how good it tastes and smells but you also know how expensive it can be. You can avoid the high costs though by making your own homemade extracts. They are surprisingly simple to make and make great homemade gifts to give during the holidays. If you wanted to use these as holiday gifts this upcoming season though you are going to want to start them now.
You can make all different kinds of extracts but today we will go over making some of the more common ones like vanilla, orange or lemon. The flavor you get form these will be unlike the ones you buy at the grocery store and will more along the lines of extracts you would buy from a high-end retailer as the flavor will be more developed since the ingredients are better.
- 3-5 Vanilla Beans (per cup of alcohol)
- 1 c. Bourbon (Vodka can also be used)
- 1 Orange or Lemon (peeled)
- 1 c. Vodka
- Slice the vanilla beans open. Start about half an inch down and finish about half an inch from the bottom so they are not sliced clear through. Place the vanilla beans in the container that you are using and cover with the alcohol. Cover it and give it a shake then place in a dark place. Once a week take it out and give it a shake. After two months it's ready to go. Remove the vanilla beans or strain through a fine mesh sieve and package in pretty bottles if you are going to gift them.
- Using a potato peeler remove the peel from the pith and place in a jar. Pour vodka over it and close the jar. Give it a shake and then place in a dark place for two months, shaking it once a week. Once done remove the peels and package in decorative jars.
- You can follow these same guidelines for lime, mint, etc. If you use mint though remove the mint leaves after a day or two as the mint leaves will go bad.
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