how to make your own vanilla extract

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 can't believe how easy it is to make your own vanilla extract! Two ingredients is all it takes and you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. 

If you start this now (while we have organic vanilla beans ON SALE), you'll have a lovely, pure, homemade extract in time for all that Christmas baking. I quite like the idea of making little bottles of this as gifts for teachers - what do you think? 

Here's what you need:

- Glass bottle/s with lid (I just used the vodka bottle with 500ml remaining - hence there is no photo of my ugly extract!  ...)
- Vanilla beans - about 6. Our 25g packs contain between 6 and 8 depending on the size of each bean. (http://www.bulkwholefoods.com.au/vanilla-beans-organic-25g/)
- 500ml alcohol (you can use rum/vodka/brandy/gin - I used good quality vodka. Be careful what you use if you want/need gluten free.)

Here's what you do:

Clean and dry your bottle/s
Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and then in half
Drop the beans into the bottle and cover with the alcohol
Screw on the lid and give the bottle a good shake
Put the bottle in a dark place, the back of the pantry maybe, and leave it for 2 or 3 months. Every now and then, give it a shake.

The longer you leave it, the deeper the colour and flavour will be. You can reuse the beans, so just decant the extract into smaller bottles when it is ready after 3 months and then top up the large bottle with more alcohol. Voila!

Enjoy. Tania