September 15, 2017 by Sarah
I remember the first time a friend brought over homemade brownies. My mind was blown, you can make your own brownies? Without the mix? Growing up, my mom cooked so much from scratch. So much so that I thought that from scratch meant that you actually milled your own flour or made your own tofu. But there were definitely easy pantry items that she always had on hand. That orange box of Japanese curry cubes, canned beans, and a Costco sized brownie mix.
Since that homemade brownie moment, I’ve been exploring other homemade pantry items, The Homemade Pantry cookbook is a fun resource for this if you’re interested.
One of the things I’ve been since experimenting with? Vanilla beans. Just this week I added them to my youngest daughter’s cupcakes and frosting for her birthday, and twice in the last month I’ve made homemade vanilla extract. Yes, you can make your own vanilla extract, and it’s very easy.
The process involves just 2 ingredients, bourbon (or vodka, rum, or brandy) and vanilla beans. You split the vanilla beans in half, place them in a bottle, add the bourbon, give it a shake, store it in a cool dark place, every so often give it a few more shakes, and in a month or two, it’s ready to use. I picked up the bottle for just a few dollars at Cost Plus World Market.
You can follow the recipe I used here.
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