With the holidays quickly approaching and gift-shopping ahead, your budget need not go out the window. Why not incorporate a bit of DIY into your gift-giving with lavish gifts homemade with love.
Vanilla extract is so easy to make that it's almost embarrassing. A quick mix of two ingredients, some fabulous bottles, package it, let it cure, add a luxurious bit of ribbon and tag and you are "good to go"!
Look for interesting bottles in local craft stores - Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or try thrift stores, Pier 1 and Cost Plus. They're very inexpensive - just be sure to choose ones with a good seal. Have fun, don't forget to make your "fave" cook (and that means you) a bottle too!
Here's a wonderful recipe from Simply Recipes
How to Make Vanilla Extract
Commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup (sugar water) added to the extract to give it a sweet aftertaste. You can do this if you want, but if you are using the vanilla for baking, there really is no need.
- 3 vanilla beans
- 1 cup vodka
- glass jar with tight fitting lid
1 Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.
2 Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka.
3 Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.
Lasts for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.
You can also make vanilla sugar by putting a split vanilla bean into a jar of white, granulated sugar. Great way to infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor for baking.