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Handmade Vanilla ~ Made Simple

Authentically created vanilla products are delicious and delectable. The “real” vanilla smells sweet, rich, and alluring. There’s nothing quite like the vanilla aroma. We have a few fantastic recipes utilizing vanilla beans. Our preference is either Madagascar or Tahitian Beans. Both can be purchased on Amazon.

Vanilla Infused Body Oil

Smooth and luxurious. Use for moisturizing, massage or in the bath.

2 organic Vanilla Beans

1 cup organic Jojoba Oil

Slice Vanilla Beans lengthwise and cut into small pieces. Place in a glass jar (we like a mason jar), cover with oil, cap, and shake well. Store in a sunny and warm windowsill for 1-2 months and shake daily. When the oil has reached the desired strength, strain the vanilla beans out using cheesecloth and pour the infused oil into a bottle. You can even make a more concentrated version of this oil by leaving the beans for 6 months to a year to use as a natural perfume!

Handmade Vanilla Extract

Making your own Vanilla Extract is easy and is much less expensive than purchasing it. In addition to being chemical free, it is not artificial or synthetic, and it only has two ingredients. You know what is in your bottle. If you get started right now, it will be ready for Christmas gift giving or baking. It’s that simple. Once you bake with authentic vanilla, you’ll never return to “imitation”.

1. Purchase your vanilla beans. You can find them in most larger grocery stores or on Amazon. Both Madagascar and Tahitian Vanilla Beans are wonderful choices. Grade B Beans are specifically made for creating extracts. I’ve used both Grade A and B.

2. Purchase your 80 proof alcohol. You can use vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum but most handmade vanilla makers use vodka. You do not need the most expensive vodka. Buy the inexpensive varieties. Since the vanilla is the flavor, spend your money there.

3. Jars. We love mason jars for creating Vanilla Extract. They are just the right size and can be used for cute gift giving. The 8-ounce size is perfect. Sometimes, I make larger quantities and utilize the bigger mason jars. Make sure to adjust the quantity of vanilla beans to match a greater amount of alcohol.

4. Use 5-6 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of 80 proof of alcohol.

Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a knife, leaving the seeds inside intact. Place vanilla beans in a jar, cover with alcohol, and cap tightly. Agitate the mixture by shaking the jar daily for 4 weeks and then once weekly. Keep the jar in a cool, dark, and dry place. Plan to percolate your extract for 6-12 months. Realistically, it can be strained after 8 weeks. The longer it sits, the stronger it becomes. Once that the flavor of the extract has reached the desired strength, strain the vanilla beans out and bottle the vanilla. Vanilla Extract will continue to become more aromatic and flavorful as it ages. It lasts indefinitely.

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Slice a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into 8 ounces of sugar.

- Place a Vanilla Bean in a jar filled with sugar, it tastes delicious in coffee or sprinkled over Creme Brulee.

- Gently heat honey with a Vanilla Bean in it to create Vanilla infused honey. Simple and delectable for dipping fresh fruit or drizzling over desserts.

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