Vanilla makes everything taste divine. The majority of baked goods include vanilla so why not make your yummy treats the best they can be? Don’t ruin your recipe by using imitation vanilla, it’s worth buying pure vanilla extract or, even better, make your own! It’s easier than you think. All you need is a vanilla bean and 1/2 cup of either bourbon or vodka (the alcohol cooks out when heated). Here’s what to do:
- Slice open the bean end to end with a pairing knife (do not cut all the way through).
- Loosen the insides with a small spoon or the tip of the pairing knife.
- Cut the bean in half and place in a container with a sealed lid, such as a small mason jar.
- Add the liquor, secure the lid and shake.
- Store in a cool dark spot for two months giving the jar a shake daily.
Another great idea for vanilla beans is making a simple vanilla sugar. Slice a vanilla bean length wise and scrape seeds into 2 cups of super fine sugar, shake well and bury bean in sugar. After 2 days it is ready to use. This is perfect to sprinkle on top of French toast, oatmeal, a pie, or add to your coffee.
Add these two ideas to your list of DIY gifts!
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~Liz & Kari