As I handed this to a dear friend a few days ago her face lit up and she hugged me and said: “I will think of you each and every time I use this!”
THAT is what I was going for in making this gift from my kitchen this year: adding a little something special for my friends and family who bake at this time of year.
I used Beanilla and ordered their Madagasgar pods, which are about $1.00 each. You can go cheaper, but these are the most pungent beans, a plus if you’re making this late in the season – because they infuse their flavor quickly. You can choose another style – Tahiti beans are more floral; Mexican beans are more cinnamon-y.
Every site recommends a different amount of time for letting your beans steep – but most folks recommend 6 to 8 weeks minimum. But, don’t panic if you want to give these for Christmas – just attach a cut tag detailing when your extract will be most flavorful. I filled my jars at the beginning of November and the liquid is already getting dark and very potently vanilla.
Food bloggers are all over this fabulous idea. I was inspired by Food in Jars to make this gift. Pennies on a Platter has instructions as well as cute labels to print out. Alexandra of Alexandra’s Kitchen made her extract in the summer so it would steep until the holidays. Joy the Baker stashes her extract for eight weeks before using.
General ratio: 1 cup vodka for 2 beans. Slice your pods open lengthwise, stuff into your jars and fill with vodka. Then, be a hero to your favorite bakers!
— posted by Donna