Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

August 25, 2011

Foodie With Family: Feeding DIY spirit


Homemade Never-Ending Vanilla Extract

2 c. (or more) vodka or brandy (use more if necessary to cover the beans)

8 (or more) whole vanilla beans (use more beans for stronger extract)

A clean jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid

Split vanilla beans lengthwise (and again cross-wise if necessary to fit into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid.) Put vanilla beans into the jar or bottle and pour the vodka or brandy over the beans to cover. Put the lid firmly in place and shake the bottle for at least one minute. Put in a cool, dark place to infuse for at least 4 weeks prior to using.

To make this extract "endless," top off the liquid with additional vodka or brandy each time you use it.

Depending on how heavily you use vanilla extract, this could last for years. I add another bean every few months to keep it strongly flavored.

For a heartier helping of Foodie With Family, go to or Rebecca's new blog, Write to Rebecca at to share your adventures and favorite recipes.

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