This Christmas, give your beloved friends and family a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that'll keep on giving in the months to come: made-from-scratch vanilla extract. This recipe, which calls for only two ingredients and less than five minutes of prep, isn't just functional — it's also pretty and long-lasting. Watch the video to find out how to prolong the life of your homemade vanilla extract and how to package it as a beautiful gift for the holidays.
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- Find out what Iron Chef Jose Garces eats on a regular basis. — Grub Street Phillie
- Combine vanilla beans and vodka and you'll get vanilla extract. — Eatocracy
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- Q and A with Mario Batali. — Eater NY
- 100 dishes that make use of pumpkin. — Endless Simmer
At the Food Fête party this week after the Fancy Foods Show, a representative from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas handed me a kit sealed with a vanilla bean. She suggested that if I didn't want to cook with it, I could take advantage of its pleasant fragrance.
"Oh, don't worry — I'll cook with it," I reassured her. Although they're rather expensive — pods cost around $5 each — cooking with vanilla pods, in my opinion, imparts a more natural flavor than using vanilla extract. I like to use them in everything from cakes to vanilla-flavored hot chocolate. What about you?
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- Should vegetarians be allowed to demand meat-free environments? — Chow
- Learn when it's okay to use imitation vanilla extract while baking. — Baking Bites
Great vanilla extract is made from fresh vanilla beans and can be rather expensive. Sometimes the quality isn't what you expect, and sometimes the flavor is too weak, or too strong. However lucky for us, TeamSugar member Twinkle has shared her recipe for homemade vanilla extract. By making your own extract, you can control all the variables and make it just to your liking. And, the best part? It's super easy, all you need is vanilla beans, vodka and a little time.
To check out her recipe and technique, read more