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Homemade Holiday Gift Recipe: Vanilla Extract

December 17th, 2015
Center for Food Safety

Homemade vanilla is a real delicacy for any home baker, and it’s quite simple to make. This recipe is best made in individual batches, as the hot alcohol is flammable and should be treated with caution.


1 vanilla bean

¾ cup vodka



  1. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place in a 1-cup jar.
  2. Very carefully and slowly, heat the vodka in a medium or large saucepan—the fumes can catch fire, so make sure nothing flammable is nearby.
  3. Pour the hot vodka into the jar, using a funnel to reduce spillage. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Seal and store at room temperature for one week, shaking gently every day.
  5. Strain, if desired, and store in a cool, dark place. The extract will keep indefinitely.

Happy holidays from all of us here at Center for Food Safety!

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