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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7 Responses to “12 Days of Cookies – The Great Sugar Cookie Debate”

  1. #
    Joelen — December 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Adorable cookies!

  2. #
    Katie — December 10, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I LOVE this! Comparison posts are my favorite and this is perfect timing with Christmas!!

  3. #
    Jen — December 10, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Thanks. I really enjoyed doing the comparison!

  4. #
    CB — December 10, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Fun post! I loved Dorie’s recipe but I’ll have to try the other 2. Yum!

  5. #
    Susan from Food Blogga — December 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    That’s funny. We only ever made sugar cookies at Xmas time too. Those poor little Easter Bunnies and Halloween pumpkin cut-out just collected dust in the cupboard. Yours look great; and I’m with your aunt. I like them big and soft. 🙂

  6. #
    Ashlee Wetherington — December 18, 2008 at 4:05 am

    W-O-W! My cookies compared to Dorie’s?! I’m super floored 🙂 Thanks for including mine in your comparison!

  7. #
    AmyRuth — January 4, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Hey I love that you compared recipes. I made a gazillion wedding cake cookies and used Nancy Baggett’s sugar cookie recipe which worked really well for cut out cookies and they taste good. Very buttery. I was surprised. What a fun party idea.

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