extra credit: make your own vanilla.
In earlier posts like this cookie recipe I mention baking with your own made-from-scratch vanilla. In retrospect, using vanilla you make yourself isn’t necessarily free as I had indicated, but it certainly is very low cost. I thought I’d do a little experiment to see exactly what the cost savings was.
I’ve outlined below how to make your own vanilla for a lot less than buying extract at the store. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a bit of brandy with me…
$7.79 on average for 2 beans at most grocery stores, but I did find this great online store that vanilla beans and other spices for less.
Let the brandy and vanilla sit in a jar together to marinate for a couple weeks and, shazam!…your own vanilla!
Throw a ribbon on top and you’ve got a cute, homemade gift!
Make Your Own Vanilla
1. Slice 2 vanilla beans (about 2-3 inches each) down the middle and place in a tall glass jar with a tight lid (or cork).
2. Pour in 1/2 cup brandy, vodka or bourbon and fit with lid.
3. Let jar sit for minimum 2 weeks, giving it a shake every now and then. Vanilla will last up to 1 year.
4. You can re-use the beans several times (I use them about 3 to 4 times, refilling the brandy and using the same beans).
2 ounce bottle of vanilla, generic, at the grocery store: $6.99
TOTAL: $.58 per teaspoon
MAKE YOUR OWN:
1 750 ml bottle of brandy, generic, at the grocery store: $5.99 for 3 cups or 24 ounces
1 bottle of 2 vanilla beans at the grocery store: $7.79 (reusable 3 or 4 times)
TOTAL: $.26 per teaspoon (assuming you use the beans 3 times)
So you’ll save over 50% making your own and it will be far more flavorful than pre-made vanilla purchased from the store. They make for great gifts too.
Think you’ll give it a try? If so let me know your thoughts and if you think it’s worth it!