I like baking and cooking, and love learning how to make new things myself. A friend of mine showed me her homemade vanilla extract that she uses in her baking and I wanted to give it a try, given that it isn't actually a difficult process. After about a month and a half of not actually getting started with this project despite having bought all 2 of the ingredients, I finally did the deed today. Hopefully in 6-8 weeks I will have a giant bottle of vanilla extract of my very own creation to use :)
Lots of cheap vodka (I had a 750ml bottle because that's the smallest cheap bottle the package store I went to had)
6 vanilla beans (mine are Mexican vanilla beans that I bought at Penzey's Spices. I am told that there are a variety of different kinds of vanilla beans, and that they can be found more affordably online, though Penzey's was definitely better than Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and my grocery store).
Pour off a little vodka if the level of the liquid is very near the top of the bottle, otherwise don't worry about it.
Cut the vanilla beans lengthwise.
Stuff the beans into the vodka bottle and recap.
Invert/shake the bottle once a week for at least 6-8 weeks and watch as it gains more and more color.
Enjoy when baking. As you use up or give away the vanilla, buy more vodka and add to the partial bottle, thereby making more vanilla extract.( Pics )