Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get Real if your serious about your desserts!
Toss the Fake Stuff and Make Home Made Vanilla

I love vanilla. Something about vanilla reminds me of my youth and of sweet smells wafting thru my parents home. Nothing, seriously nothing adds more taste or dimension to desserts, crepes, pancakes, etc. than the taste of pure vanilla. Buying pure vanilla is quite expensive, especially if you use it frequently as I do. So making it although still expensive is much more affordable.

Commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup (sugar water) added to the extract to give it a sweet aftertaste and in no way can it compete to the recipe below.

It’s also a great recipe to make with your children who will enjoy helping you cut the vanilla beans and on a daily basis, reviewing the transformation taking place in the jar. My daughter Tori loves to add the date and Tori’s Beans label to it. You will enjoy making this and will love your food even more.


6 -8 vanilla beans depending on size of jar (Madagascar or Mexican beans are my favorite)
vodka (26 to 40 ounce bottle)
glass jar with tight fitting lid


1. Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.
2. Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka.
3. Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months minimum.

Lasts for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake. I like to add more extra vanilla beans and also start new batches so I can share my vanilla as gifts. If you’re a true friend you get some of my pure vanilla. Yum!

Note: One day while making vanilla I got careless and added a small amount of Maple vodka to my batch while topping it off (the bottles looked the same!). Just like many past discoveries, something great came out of it. We love the light taste of maple in our vanilla and have now begun experimenting with other flavors. Feel free to do so.


  1. Francois - I could almost smell the alluring aroma of vanilla as I read this. Yum! :)