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For those who make your own vanilla...

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm a scratch baker and try to use only the highest quality ingredients I can get my hands on as a home baker. (I don't have a business, but bake for family and friends right now.) I'm considering starting to make my own vanilla and butter. Is it worth it? Any comments or insights from those of you who do this would be appreciated! Thanks!!
post #2 of 29
Butter, no. Vanilla, yes. God yes. Find Vanilla Products USA and order the high grade beans from there, and find a tutorial on vanilla making. Best stuff ever.
post #3 of 29
Agree, I wouldn't ever buy store bought vanilla again since making my own. I buy a litre bottle (pretty much a quart in US measurements) of vodka, and quite a lot of beans and just let it sit in a dark cupboard for 3 months. Shake it every now and then, the longer you leave it the better.

Here's a tutorial

I'd say no to butter for baking, the cost and effort is not worth it. For eating/family use, it'd be worth it to try it and see what it tastes like as a one off.
post #4 of 29
I too make my own vanilla...I use bourban and least 80 proof.

Once you make your own and taste the difference you won't buy store bought ever again...not to mention it's much more cost effective to make it.

Butter, I make for fun for the family but not for baking.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you all! I will definitely try the vanilla. I'm assuming that the quality of liquor used makes a difference in the taste of the final product. It that right?
post #6 of 29
Yes and no. lol

You want at least 80 proof but it doesn't have to be the most expensive by any means.
post #7 of 29
vanilla, yes, butter, by mistake-not to hard to do, I mixed my whipping cream too long and it turned to sweet cream butter---delicios, will make for the holidays.
post #8 of 29
Do you recommend using bourbon or vodka? Or can you do both? I have a ton of everclear I need to get rid of from making limoncello last year, can I use that?
"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he didn't trust me so much." ~ Mama T
"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he didn't trust me so much." ~ Mama T
post #9 of 29
I've seen recipes where everclear was used but I've not tried it.

I use 3/4 vodka to 1/4 bourban in a clean sterilized 1.5 liter bottle...I go a little nuts on the pods I use probably 1/2lb of van pods for this size bottle.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
So, you use vodka and bourbon together? I don't know why, but I would not have thought to do that. I'm getting excited to try this! Thanks so much for all of the advice!
post #11 of 29
Keep your Everclear for limoncello.

I disagree about the vodka brand. Cheap vodkas are not as smooth as the more expensive ones. I use Grey Goose 80 proof, 2 c to 16 beans. But I capitalize on the fact that I use Grey Goose in my descriptions on my site. I use many spirits and liqueurs in my baking. In every case, I have found that the best top shelf brands impart a better flavor. In the case of vanilla, Grey Goose will bring the price up substantially.

I just made chocolate chip cookies for my daughter's school carnival. In the first batch I used my combination homemade/paste. Then reality hit me about how much I was using up for a charity function. I switched to McCormick's. I could tell the difference.
post #12 of 29
This might be a silly question: Can vanilla b infused in anything else other than alcohol?
post #13 of 29
You can put it in any spirit, in fact, manufacturers have done that. Go to the liquor store for inspiration and you will see the possibilities. But stick with the spirits. Liqueurs will probably do best if vanilla was added in the form of the extract or paste, or probably not at all. They already have a flavor combination.
post #14 of 29
I really want to do the vanilla thing, but I'm concerned about consistency. Does the flavor continue to develop after 3 months? When I buy it at the store, I know every tablespoon is the same. I'm afraid that the vanilla I use at 3 months will taste totally different than the vanilla I use at 6 months. I read that you leave the beans in the bottle, do you guys do that, or do you remove them? Do you strain or keep the tiny seeds in there? Any thoughts from those with experience?

Sorry so many questions...I've been thinking about this for a while! LOL
post #15 of 29
I use so much that I end up using it up before it gets old.

If you have it around for a year than maybe you'd want to remove the beans.

As I said I make it by the liter and a half, not gallon, so I go through approx 4 to 5 bottles in a year.

I strain one bottle and keep the beans in another. Depending on what I'm making I like to have both on hand.

I think a good middle of the road price range Vodka/Bourban is fine for extract...really you want at least 80 proof and the key is to buy good plump beans, not the dried up ones Amazon or BJ's sells.

Spend the money on the beans, that's the most important element in my opinion.

I use Stoli Elit for my vodka and I can't recall the name of the Bourban I use, I'll check when I get a chance.
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