Homemade vanilla extract is prized for its full, rich, complex flavor and an incredibly smooth aroma. Homemade vanilla extract is truly in a different league than what can be procured from most grocery stores. The difference between pure vanilla and imitation vanilla is simple. Pure vanilla extract is made from vanilla beans, while imitation vanilla utilizes imitation flavors and chemicals.
All photos courtesy of MyBakingAddiction.com
Making vanilla extract is fun and simple! Simply take 5 whole vanilla beans, split lengthwise and add to 8 ounces of 35%+ alcohol. Any type of alcohol can be used, but bottom shelf vodka is most common because it will not add any additional flavors to the extract. Bourbon, rum and brandy can also be used. After 8 short weeks the extract is ready to enjoy.
There are two major reasons we love to work with Rachel from www.rachelcooks.com. First, her recipes are crazy! Seriously, who would have thought of Orange Creamsicle Buttercream made with Vanilla Beans? Second, she's from Michigan. We always enjoy the opportunity to work with our "neighbors", especially when vanilla is involved.