Christmas in July – Homemade Vanilla Extract

With just under 5 months until Christmas, it might be time to start thinking about gifts for your friends and family. That’s what I was doing about a year ago. I am definitely a big planner and had decided early in 2009 to make as many Christmas gifts as I could. Some of these gifts required quite a bit of time and some were easy to throw together. This week I’ll be sharing the gifts that I gave our family and friends last year.

The first gift came about due to a sale on Amazon. There was a great deal on 1/2 lb of vanilla beans. I started with two bottles of vodka and the vanilla beans. Once the beans were split (but not scraped) and placed in the vodka, the bottles just had to sit in a cool dark place. Every couple of weeks Hubby would pull the vodka out of the closet and shake the crap out of it. A couple months later the vanilla extract was ready to go!

I ordered some bottles online and made some labels for the bottles to finish off the look. I also placed two vanilla beans into each bottle.

I love that the vanilla extract tastes so good, has the specks of fresh vanilla beans, and will essentially never run out. If the vanilla starts running low, you can just top it off with some more vodka. As you use vanilla beans, just throw the pods in the bottle to replenish the vanilla flavor.

One Year Ago: Goat Cheese Potato Salad and Salmon with Yellow Pepper and Cilantro Pesto
Two Years Ago: Champagne Cupcakes

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8 Responses to “Caramel Corn”

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    1
    Megan — December 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    This looks so much easier than I thought it would be. I love using my candy thermometer too. I really want a chocolate thermometer now so I can work on my tempering too. Ooh… chocolate caramel corn. 🙂

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    Jen — December 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Megan – I have made “caramel” corn using Hershey kisses before. You should check it out.

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — December 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I LOVE caramel corn… or cracker jack 😉 I made it last spring for baseball season. It really is super easy to make and I just can’t get enough of it!

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    life and kitchen — December 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I love anything that mixes salt and sugar… this looks great!

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    jane deere — December 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I love caramel corn and this recipe looks delicious! I like to add roasted, salted almonds and cashews to mine…YUM!

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — December 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    This caramel corn looks ridiculously addictive!

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    Elina (Russian Bites) — December 17, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    This sounds awesome. I never like store bought popcorn, but freshly made homemade kind I’m sure I’ll be all about. Yum 🙂

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    Kerstin — December 20, 2010 at 2:42 am

    I would have burnt my tongue too – caramel corn is also one of my favorites!

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