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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4 Responses to “Salted Caramel Sauce”

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    Cara — February 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    After making vegan salted caramel ice cream, I’m in love with the stuff 🙂 If you’re interested, I do have the recipe on my blog for vegan salted caramel, if you’re interested in a non-dairy version!

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    Alison — February 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    i love caramel sauce! thanks for sharing!

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    Sarah C — January 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    This recipe was posted a week after I had my daughter so I didn’t get around to making it until now. I decided to do this as a Christmas gift for a friend, and it took me 3 tries but I finally got it right, and it’s delicious!!! Now that I know the tips and tricks to make it work, I can definitely see this being a good gift for future holidays/occasions.

    • beantownbaker — January 5th, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      Glad you were able to make it work for you!

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