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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5 Responses to “12 Days of Cookies – Snickerdoodles”

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    Joelen — December 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    How I wish I knew of this recipe a few weeks ago! I didn’t have cream of tartar on hand and didn’t want to risk making snickerdoodles without out so I used a sugar cookie recipe instead… blah! But now I know for next time this exists! Great job on your snickerdoodles. They look perfect!

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    Jen — December 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Sorry to hear that. These were very good. I can’t believe I’ve never made them before…

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    Scott W. — December 18, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    How do you do it? Where do all the cookies go? Is Carlos put’n on his winter weight? I am impressed in all the cookies you’ve made. Looking forward to what you’ll do next.

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    Jen — December 19, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Haha Scott. I have to admit I’m a little cookie-d out. I’m making the last batch today. Most have been going to work and we’ve been eating some. I also have 3 kinds in the freezer to take to CT with us when we’re there.

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    jodiebakz — December 21, 2008 at 12:30 am

    hiya.. thanks so much for sharing the recipe.. the only thing i did a bit different was melt the butter before mixing with the sugar.. these cookies taste soo yummy.. fluffy on the inside and crispy on the edges!! thanks again.. happy holidays!

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