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It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about holiday gifts, and the blogging world is no exception. There are a lot of vanilla extract posts floating around the blogosphere right now, and they’re all good, but I’m going to argue that mine is exceptional.
Why you ask? Because BRANDY.
Brandy has that special something that makes the flavor of vanilla beans sing and dance in your baked goods. It turns vanilla extract into SUPER VANILLA EXTRACT.
And it’s stupid easy.
You will need:
- Vanilla Beans (3-5 for every 8 oz of brandy, I used Madagascar-Bourbon Vanilla Beans)
- 35% or higher alcohol (brandy is in the 40% range)
- A very clean glass vessel (vials that would work for this, available here)
Flatten out the vanilla bean by running your thumb from one end to another. This makes it more manageable when it’s time to scoop out the insides.
Run a sharp knife down the length of the been, being careful not to slice the bean in half.
Scoop out the seeds
Place the pods and seeds in your vessel.
Pour in your brandy.
Store your vanilla extract in a cool, dark place. It will be ready to use in 3-6 months.
That’s IT. And I’ve heard some people don’t even scrape the seeds out, but I can’t vouch for that method myself. Put a bow on it and gift it to your loved ones.