Nuts & Bolts: Homemade Vanilla Extract

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by Amber on February 24, 2012

For our second Nuts & Bolts post, I want to talk to you about Vanilla Extract.

I will never understand why vanilla extract is sold in such tiny bottles. It is by far the most used of the extract family, and I personally go through a ton of it because I always up the vanilla quotient.

What really frosts my cookies though? How much it costs. Real, honest to goodness, homemade vanilla extract is incredibly cheap to make.

Here’s the breakdown:

750 to 1.75 litre Vodka or Bourbon
$9.99 to $13.99
10 Vanilla Beans of your choice
(I have used Madagascar and Mexican with great success)
750 ml = 51 tablespoons
1.75 litres = 118 tablespoons

Average cost of a 16 fl oz bottle of store-bought vanilla extract: $10.00 (32 tablespoons) – cost per tablespoon $.51 cents

Average cost per tablespoon of homemade completely pure vanilla extract: 19-25 cents!

All you need is the 2 ingredients and time. You can start using your homemade vanilla extract as soon as 6 weeks, but the longer it sits, the better it is.

A lot of food bloggers out there suggest preparing a bottle of vanilla extract in time to give away for the holidays as homemade gifts. Now, I’m all for that, but I also see value in simply making a huge bottle of extract for yourself.

Two years ago I made my first bottle of extract. I only just killed it. Value for money, I say!

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