Homemade Extracts

It doesn't matter which alcohol you choose for making extract - it's more a question of which alcohol you prefer. Vodka has the least flavor to interfere with the taste of the vanilla. Because rum is sweet, it's the best for making cordials, and vanilla brandy is lovely to pour over freshly baked cakes or to add to stewed winter fruits.
For gift making, decant the extract into unusual bottles, add one vanilla bean to each bottle and attach a label and voilą, yo, you have a very attractive gift.
Split five vanilla beans lengthwise down the center to expose the seeds, keeping the ends of the beans intact. Place beans in a pint of high-quality vodka, rum or brandy. Store in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or closet for at least four weeks. Shake the bottle several times a week.
To use, either remove four of the beans for another purpose (you can add them with a fresh bean to make more extract, or you can use them for cooking), or let all the beans remain in the bottle, and periodically, add more alcohol to keep the bottle replenished. Eventually the beans will lose their strength but they should contain flavor for many months.


Vanilla Cordial:

Follow the above directions for making extract. When the extract is at least four weeks old, remove the beans from the bottle and place in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil about 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Pour the syrup through the sieve lined with fresh cheesecloth into a clean bottle. Next, pour the extract through the sieve into the bottle. Add a vanilla bean to the bottle if desired. Allow the cordial to mellow at least one week before using. If you want a cordial that isn't quite this strong, double the amount of simple syrup.



Lemon Extract
Thinly peel one lemon with a vegetable peeler. Be sure you do not include any of the white part. Dice the peel and combine with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup vodka. Pour lemon extract into a clean glass jar and set aside to steep for at least 3 days. Store it anywhere, and it will keep for up to one year.


Orange Extract
Thinly peel 1/2 navel orange with a vegetable peeler. Be sure you do not include any of the white part. Dice the peel and combine with ¼ cup water and 1/2 cup vodka. Put orange extract into a clean glass jar and set aside to steep for at least 3 days. Store it anywhere, and it will keep for up to one year.



Vanilla Sugar

Split one vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds from each half.

Cut the two halves into about 1/2-inch pieces. Add the pieces and the seeds to three cups of granulated sugar in a glass jar. Tightly close and store for one week, shaking occasionally.

Sieve the sugar as you use it, returning the beans and seeds to the jar. This may be repeated over and over for 6 months or so, until the flavor of the vanilla sugar weakens.

Use vanilla sugar to top cereals, french toast or fruit. Or add it to coffee or tea.



Vanilla Oil

Gently heat one cup of mild vegetable oil. Add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Stir to blend. Use to brush over grilled vegetables or fruits such as pineapple and papaya.

Other uses for vanilla:

A few drops of vanilla in a can of paint will help eliminate unpleasant odors. Rub it on your hands to eliminate strong odors like fish.

Slip a vanilla bean under your car seat to give the car a fresh aroma and help eliminate musty odors.

Add a teaspoon of vanilla to tomato sauces, chili and barbecue sauce to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

In baking, cream the vanilla with the shortening or butter portion of the ingredients. The fat encapsulates the vanilla, preventing it from evaporating in the baking process.


For coffee liqueur you can use the following:

1/2 to 1 tsp. chocolate extract plus 1/2 to 1 tsp. instant coffee granules dissolved in
2 Tbsp. hot water. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup.

These equal 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur or Kahlua


Substitue for Chocolate Extract:

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup can be used per 1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract in a recipe.



Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1 1/2 c. water
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. Dutch-processed cocoa
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp.  kosher salt
2 Tbsp light corn syrup

In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil and whisk in cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup. Whisk until all of the solids have dissolved. Reduce sauce until slightly thickened. Strain and cool to room temperature. Pour into squeeze bottles. Squeeze into cold milk and stir for delicious chocolate milk or serve on your favorite ice cream.





Homemade Licorice:


4 envelopes Knox gelatine
3 envelopes diet cherry Jell-O
4 c water
2 tsp. (or more) anise extract

Soften unflavored gelatine in 1/2 cup cold water. Bring
remaining water to boil and dissolve both gelatins in the
boiling water. Add flavoring and pour into 9 x 13-inch pan.
Refrigerate. When firm, cut into squares

More Substitutions, Click Here: