Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 3)
Photo by Christine Boutwell Mita
Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2011
Used Stolichnaya vodka, 8 Madagascar beans and 4 Mexican vanilla beans, and as suggested in many reviews, I split them open before adding them to the bottle (Oh yeah, I realized as I was doing this that I had to remove about 1/4 cup of vodka so it wouldn't overflow after all the beans were added! Then I went here and clicked on CPA's review as being helpful!) I must say, the fragrance from the Mexican beans was unbelievably wonderful compared to the not-so-shabby but somewhat more "plain" Madagascar beans. It's only been 4 weeks, but my vanilla was brown within two weeks. Used a little for the first time in a coffee drink because I couldn't resist - great flavor! I'm still going to let this batch sit while I use up the other bottles I already had on hand, but I will use this method forever! Only changes will be to mix types of vanilla beans for a more layered flavor, split them first, and probably throw a couple more in than what was listed in the recipe.
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Photo by Christine Boutwell Mita

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Hopedale, Massachusetts, USA
Living In: Holden, Massachusetts, USA
Reviewed: Jul. 17, 2011
Ok, it's been almost three months and I started to use my homemade vanilla this past week. I love it! It has a smooth rich taste that's much better than store bought. I split the beans lengthwise and used the least expensive vodka I could find. I currently have 2, one quart bottles and one gallon bottle "marinating". Because my taste always calls for more flavoring and spices in my recipes, I used about 12 beans for each quart and twice that much for the gallon bottle. What I'm using now is what was poured off before adding beans to the bottles and for that amount I used about 5 beans split lengthwise and cut in half. I still have plenty of beans left so I'm going to experiment with a bottle of bourbon and I will try a "better" vodka to see if there is truly a difference but, I am very satisfied with what I have thus far and I do a lot of baking. BTW, I am going to use the gallon bottle to make 2oz. bottles of vanilla to use as Christmas gifts for my family and friends who bake. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I will never have to buy store bought vanilla extract again. Homemade is sooooooo much better and over a period of time, cheaper!
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7 users found this review helpful

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Photo by msladygee

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Los Angeles, California, USA
Reviewed: Jun. 4, 2011
Excellent! Economical! Purchased vanilla beans off of eBay; used Smirnoff vodka. Placed 10 split beans per 750ml bottle and let steep 3 months.
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Photo by vanessa

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Columbus, Indiana, USA

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Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2011
you will gain more flavor by splitting the vanilla bean in half and scraping the insides and adding that to the alcohol. Try different beans for different flavors and mix them to create a more complex flavor.
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Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2011
Okay, this isn't quite a review this is just to remind me as to when I started making this. Everything went smoothly until I overflowed the bottle of vodka. Silly me! I had to take two cups of vodka out to make all the beans fit without overflowing. After I put all the split vanilla beans in the vodka I was able to add back one cup. The last cup I put in a cute bottle from the container store along with 2 to 3 beans. I used a 1.75ml bottle of vodka. I'll update in 3-6 months!
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Photo by CPA

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Naperville, Illinois, USA
Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2011
My 6 months are finally up! This worked SO WELL! I made 2 kinds - vodka and bourbon. Lvu 'em both! So-long store bought! See ya! ***update*** I have added to my stash and find that I prefer the bourbon to the vodka. I now use about 10 beans per cup and I have a much truer extract as opposed to flavored alcohol. I also split and scrape the paste out of each bean. This makes the process quicker and I really like more flecks of the vanilla in my recipes. If you have trouble cutting your beans I have found that placing the bean on the cutting board, pierce the stem end with a very sharp knife, keep the knife in the board, hold the stem and then pull the bean across the blade. This is easier than trying to split the bean as it rolls around moving the knife through it.
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Reviewed: Jan. 17, 2011
Wonderful and favorful. I bought 1# beans off of amazon and used less beans 6 was good for me because I had some other vanilla I needed to use up, so I just let it sit a little bit longer. I did shake it more than said and it was fun to watch it turn amber. The bottom is the best with all the little seeds...extra favor. I use it for more than baking we put it on meat also. It must be cooked so I also made vanilla sugar with my beans for things I wanted to not cook...vanilla sugar is great on buttered toast. I bake a lot since we have allergies in the family and this is great for milk, gums, and corn allergies. Don't forget to make enough to share.....
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Mishawaka, Indiana, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 10, 2011
I would encourage EVERYONE that uses Vanilla Extract to - MAKE YOUR OWN!!!! I have made it for years and like others have said, once you do, the store-bought will never be the same. Even the "good-stuff" almost always has caramel coloring and/or some kind of sweetener? WHY? I usually do start with a good but inexpensive vodka but think I will try a clear rum next time? Don't hesitate - make your own Vanilla!!!! ebay is a great resource for economical beans as they can be expensive but the bang for your buck makes it a great bargain!!! The best tip I can give is do NOT skimp on the beans. The more beans, the stronger the flavor and like someone else suggested - once "used up" in your extract - let them COMPLETELY DRY - then just shove one or two at a time in your sugar canister. The best sugar around for all your baking needs or just in your coffee or tea. BE Well my friends!!!
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Photo by Grams

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Choctaw, Oklahoma, USA
Living In: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2011
I love the idea of making my own vanilla, and now that I've done it, I will never buy vanilla again. HOWEVER, after substantial reading across a number of site, this has too few vanilla beans in it to reach the desired alcohol content to technically be vanilla extract. You also need the beans to sit in there a full 6 months for this ratio to be reached. For 1L of vodka, you will want 1/4 lb beans. But you can get a quarter pound on ebay for cheap (~$12). Also, buy the grade B beans, those are extract beans. Grade A won't give you as much flavor.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Syracuse, New York, USA
Living In: Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA

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Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2010
Easy & smells fantastic. Won't go back to store bought. Gave small bottles with Christmas goodie package to the neighbors.
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Living In: Watertown, South Dakota, USA

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