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Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 48
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 10.7
  • Total Fat: 0.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 0.0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 0.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
  • Protein: 0.0 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Vanilla Flavoring calories by ingredient
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Vanilla Flavoring

Submitted by: CHEF_MEG
Vanilla Flavoring

Introduction

"Vanilla extract" usually isn't made with real vanilla. The good news is that it's really easy--and affordable--to make your own.

"Vanilla extract" usually isn't made with real vanilla. The good news is that it's really easy--and affordable--to make your own.


Number of Servings: 48

Ingredients

    2 vanilla beans
    8 ounces vodka

Tips

The real stuff adds such a layer of flavor to your baked goods that once you've made your own, you'll never want to go back. Vanilla beans are about $1 each, and because you're only using a cup of vodka, you can just buy the "airplane" size bottles. It ends up being about 5 cents per serving.

This makes a great hostess gift. Make a large batch of it and give it away as a holiday gift.


Directions

Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds from the bean using a knife, and place both the seeds and the beans in a glass jar with a lid. Warm the vodka to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the warmed vodka over the beans and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, seal the jar. Store at room temperature for one week, shaking the jar every other day. Strain the mixture, then store in a sealed container. Flavoring will keep for a year, but chances are you'll use it up before then.
Makes 48 one teaspoon servings.





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Member Ratings For This Recipe



  • 47 of 51 people found this review helpful
    I have made my own vanilla extract for over 20 years. I put a vanilla bean in a small jar and added brandy. As I use up the liquid, I simply add more brandy. It is my unending supply of vanilla extract. I never filtered the liquid, nor have I added more vanilla bean, but I am satisfied with results. - 11/30/09

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  • Incredible!
    31 of 36 people found this review helpful
    I've made batches of vanilla this way & have experimented with vodka, vanilla vodka & rum for different flavors. I use 4 beans per 8 oz. & have boxes of dark bottles in the basement at different stages of "marination". People who haven't made the recipe should refrain from commenting. - 11/30/09

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  • 22 of 22 people found this review helpful
    You can buy vanilla beans online at bulkfoods.com They sell 3 beans for about $4. Or at http://www.amadeusvanillabeans.com/store/ Theirs are about $1 each. I'm sure there are others online too, but I've bought from them before and they are great. - 10/3/10

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  • Incredible!
    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
    This is both cost effective and tastier than purchased vanilla. I just add a new vanilla bean when I make new, but keep the old ones as well (until there are too many beans in my bottle). I'm amazed and delighted that you can use the beans so many times, WhiteRaven! - 12/11/09

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  • 16 of 16 people found this review helpful
    I MADE THIS RECIPE YEARS AGO, AND DIDN'T CARE FOR THE TASTE OF THE VODKA. HAD TAKEN A COOKING CLASS IN NEW ORLEANS, AND THE INSTRUCTOR SUGGESTED USING BRANDY. I DON'T HEAT THE BRANDY EITHER. JUST LET IT STEEP FOR SEVERAL MONTHS IN REALLY GOOD BRANDY. MY FRIENDS LINE UP FOR THEIR "CHRISTMAS" GIFTS. - 2/4/10

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  • 16 of 17 people found this review helpful
    I am making the vanilla now. but where do you get vanilla beans for a dollar . i only found one store that sells them and you get 2 vanilla beans for eight dollars - 12/15/09

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  • 13 of 15 people found this review helpful
    Actually, MEECHEEDA, it takes 2.5 hours continuous simmering to evaporate all but 5% alcohol content in recipes. The heating time mentions to heat until 100-120 degrees F, which would not be sufficient to reduce the alcohol content in the recipe. See whatscookingamerica.net (Alcohol Burn Off chart). - 4/1/10

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  • 10 of 12 people found this review helpful
    THE RECIPE I USED SUGGESTED JUST SPLITTING THE BEAN--NOT SCRAPING THE SEEDS. IT ALSO DID NOT MENTION WARMING THE VODKA. HOWEVER, MY RESULTS DID NOT HAVE THE SAME DARK COLOR. I UNDERSTAND IF YOU BUY BULK BEANS ON LINE, IT IS MUCH CHEAPER THAN THE HEALTH FOOD STORE. - 1/19/10

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  • Very Good
    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
    Yar not shapostah drink it.. hic! Itsh great on icsh cream too! hic. LoL - 1/26/11

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  • Incredible!
    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
    Amazon.com offers vanilla beans at the $1 each rate though you can't order only one or two but then-why would you? :) Vanilla beans are always a great option to have around!!! - 12/30/10

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  • 8 of 9 people found this review helpful
    My Mom has also done this for years, with brandy, whisky, or other decent quality alcohol; should she do something silly, we tease her that she's 'been in the vanilla again'. - 5/5/10

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  • 8 of 8 people found this review helpful
    I have made this using spiced rum. It turned out great! If using spiced rum it gives the food a little something special that people love! - 1/14/10

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  • 7 of 9 people found this review helpful
    For those of you who complain about the alcohol - go search for McCormick vanilla extract - it's 35% alcohol. - 10/25/10

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  • Incredible!
    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
    Never knew how to make this before. I have bought pure vanilla in Mexico and it stayed for 10 years until we used it up but with this we can give as gifts and not worry about it being used it within a year. - 1/19/10

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  • 7 of 11 people found this review helpful
    Dutchoney, you don't drink it. You use it in baking. Better stay out of restaurants, many add white or red wine to cook with several meals. Same thing. - 12/11/09

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  • Incredible!
    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
    Mine has a strong vodka smell - I am not sure if that is normal as real vanilla extract smells more like vanilla. I used it in a muffin mix and the muffins came out great so I assume the mix is good. Will try something with more of a vanilla flavor to test. - 12/23/09

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  • 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I use a 720ml bottle, throw my beans in, put in a dark spot for eight weeks then put a dash of rum in it for the sweetener. I've used a splash of brandy before as well.
    I've never warmed anything, I've never scraped anything. I simply cut my vanilla beans down the middle, not even completely apar - 1/26/11

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  • Incredible!
    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I have always used brandy. It is the best! I get my spices from Penzey's. I am blessed to have a store a mile from my house but you can order them online also. They truly have the most fresh spices. It is worth the $$. http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-p
    enzeysvanillabeans.html - 1/7/11

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  • Incredible!
    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I've been making my Vanilla for a long time. And when I find cheap vanilla at the discount store I add a Vanilla bean to that too. Great stuff thanks for reminding me. I better get some started for fall baking. - 4/27/10

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  • 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
    You can buy vanilla beans at Costco or BJs. You can also buy then at health food stores. - 3/23/10

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  • 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
    Great Stuff! For those who use imitation vanilla, there is a difference! Dutchoney, the alcohol vaporizes during the cooking process so there is no alcohol in the completed product. I believe this was the initial way that vanilla was made prior to man's chemical imitations that were made - 1/20/10

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  • 4 of 6 people found this review helpful
    Does anyone have other recipes for the other extracts? Banana extract, Almond extract, etc...I have never heard of this process. What a great idea! - 5/24/10

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  • 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I did not Know How to Make Vanilla flavoring. I just tried yours and will be delighted to tell you how much I enjoy It. - 2/5/10

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  • 4 of 10 people found this review helpful
    I'd like to make this recipe. Where do you purchase vanilla beans? I've never seen them for sale any place. - 12/6/09

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  • Incredible!
    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    made it with brandy, as that was all I had on hand... I think these will be great xmas gifts, especially now I've found some nice bottles. - 1/21/11

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  • 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
    i just got my vanilla beans (Cost Plus World Market) and I paid 2.99 for 2 beans. can't wait to make this recipe! - 8/19/10

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  • Good
    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
    is there any substitutions to the alcohol, i dont drink it nor touch it, let alone go into a store to purchase it. what else can i do? i really want to make my own vanilla. - 4/19/10

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  • 3 of 8 people found this review helpful
    A local winery makes brandy from some of their grapes, but isn't licensed to sell it, so they pop a few vanilla beans in a bottle, fill it with brandy, and sell it "for cooking only." We bought our bottle at least a year and a half ago, and just top it up with neutral alcohol whenever it looks like - 1/19/10

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  • 3 of 76 people found this review helpful
    I don't think so...I don't drink. - 11/23/09

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I have done this for years but I use a good bourbon instead of vodka. Much better flavor! - 1/26/11

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I love this. I made it about 6 months ago and it is my fav vanilla flavoring. Will not go back to store bought. It's so easy to make.
    - 1/26/11

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  • 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    I've had a couple huge vanilla beans stored in the pantry for a couple years while I've used the bottled extract. Perhaps I'll get a jug of vodka and add them & put them next to my 8 yoa bottle of ginseng vodka! Maybe I'll get around to using them one day! - 10/9/10

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  • 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    NOW... I know why vanilla is sold in the liquor stores in Mexico! - 10/9/10

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  • 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    When I use Mexican vanilla I have to cut down the amount called for in the recipe (1/8 t. vanilla for 1 t. in recipe). Is this vanilla the same strength as Mexican vanilla, or the same as the extract you can buy in the U.S.? - 10/6/10

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  • 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I can't rate this recipe as my beans are still marinating in vodka. I'm not sure how economical it is, two vanilla beans cost me $6 and 200 ml vodka was $7 (alcohol in Canada is tightly controlled and heavily taxed). $13 in total. - 9/27/10

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    Very cool - never again will I not make my own Vanilla... - 5/10/10

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  • 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
    I've tried this it is great! Unfortunately our vanilla beans are upwards of $6 for two :(. Does anyone know if you can buy them in bulk...I love using them for rice pudding too! - 4/3/10

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
    This is what I've been looking for! I had a recipe like this years ago and forgot about it. The store bought is too expensive if it's real and disgusting if it's imitation. I am SO happy I found this recipe! I'll be making some this weekend. - 3/29/10

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
    I agree with Bluejean girl. I've also been making this for a long time and have various batches going at any given time. Great gifts for your friends that bake. Never thought to post it. Glad it's here. - 3/10/10

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I learned this in a cooking class years ago, but had forgotten all about it. I'm glad to be reminded, & will be making some soon! It really does beat the fake stuff all to pieces. - 2/5/10

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  • 2 of 5 people found this review helpful
    I`m excited to have the recipe.Thank you.Now everything will taste better when I cook them! - 1/24/10

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  • Incredible!
    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
    AWESONE! - 12/11/09

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  • Very Good
    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
    I can't wait to try this one. My baking customers will love it!! - 11/27/09

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  • 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    in england it's the "essence" that's not made with real vanilla, the "extract" is exactly that - 'extracted from vanilla' - so it is the real stuff!! - 3/1/11

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  • 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    Mmm~ Sounds lovely! And to all those worried about the alcohol, it cooks out when you bake. Most flavorings have alcohol in them, it's a way to carry the flavor. (You also use alcohol to disperse and emulsify essential oils.) - 1/27/11

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    This is excellent; next time I'll try it with brandy. I had to laugh about buying a nip of vodka; leftover vodka is NEVER a problem in my house!! - 1/26/11

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  • 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    I have two questions: How much less do you use in a recipe than the imitation vanilla? and Once you use the vanilla to bake a product, doesn't that "cook out" the alcohol? - 1/26/11

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    I am wanting to share that you can ebay vanilla beans and they are so much cheaper that way. I have a bottle of vanilla sitting on my counter and it has 5 beans per cup. It is very very good and I didn't heat my vodka either, but I didn let it sit for 8 weeks before using maybe thats the dif. - 12/6/10

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  • 1 of 5 people found this review helpful
    One comment/question I haven't seen answered is: can this be done with something besides alcohol? Most who don't drink have a reason - whether it's 12-step recovery or medication interaction, some can tolerate a small percentage & others cannot. Would be nice if there were an option - anyone know? - 11/17/10

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  • 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Sounds yummy, and what a great, affordable Christmas gift for bosses, neighbors, etc. Can't wait to try it! - 10/9/10

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  • 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
    I love to "beat the system"! I'm going to try this right away!! Thank you for sharing! - 10/6/10

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  • 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
    Will someone please post where to get vanilla beans? - 8/5/10

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  • 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
    I like vanilla so i got to try it - 7/24/10

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  • 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    very interesting and am going to Mexico next week so will buy beans while there.. - 6/19/10

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  • 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
    Just started this- Can't wait to try it - 6/15/10

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  • 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
    I will have to try this! I love vanilla flavoring! - 5/5/10

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  • 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
    oooh never thought about making this on my own but I LOVE to try new things and how to actually make things on my own. This recipe is going in my recipe box for sure! Thanks for sharing! - 5/5/10

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  • 1 of 9 people found this review helpful
    I wish to address this comment to Chef Meg: What would happen if you used Ever Clear instead of Vodka? It seems that using the Ever Clear would produce more flavor than the Vodka because the Ever Clear is about 210% alcohol. Please respond I am very interested to find out the answer. - 4/12/10

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  • 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
    I'm going to try this! - 4/3/10

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
    This is a great alternative to store-bought vanilla. - 3/7/10

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  • Incredible!
    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
    Thanks for a great recipe - 2/2/10

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  • 1 of 6 people found this review helpful
    So where do you buy vanilla beans, this sounds great - 1/19/10

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  • 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
    It is wonderful..been along time since I have made it.. But plan to do it again real soon. - 1/19/10

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  • 1 of 7 people found this review helpful
    I honestly have never heard of doing this but I am anxious to try it. - 1/17/10

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  • 1 of 7 people found this review helpful
    I'm excited to have the recipe. I will make it. - 12/11/09

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  • 1 of 6 people found this review helpful
    I have always heard of this recipe.. and am tempted..
    I think I will justs have to do this!! I so love vanilla flavoring and this sounds to be the real thing!!! - 12/11/09

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  • The people complaining of the alcohol content crack me up! Have they ever read a label on a flavoring bottle?.....
    :) - 3/13/13

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  • I followed this recipe to the letter using Madagascar vanilla beans. After a week and 2 days, the vanilla extract looks like medium strength tea. Other recipes say that it takes 6 to 8 weeks. I'm hoping they're right. At any rate, I won't be giving it away as Christmas presents. - 12/24/12

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  • do you need to keep this in the refrigerator, or do you just keep it out in a cabinet after the week is up?
    - 12/7/11

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  • I just bought 25 vanilla beans online at beanilla.com for $18.99 ($22.77 including shipping). I'll be making this for Christmas gifts this year. :) Thanks for the recipe! - 11/18/11

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  • I too have made this - but used Brandy or Bourbon. And we always put the mixture in a brown bottle, which seems to make it last longer. - 9/28/11

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  • Wow, I knew there was some alcohol in vanilla, but didn't know it was vodka or brandy! Can't wait to try making my own. - 9/27/11

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  • I was not aware of how expensive the beans are!! I paid about $15 for 3 of them in a health store and saw them afterward much cheaper online. - 9/27/11

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  • Excellent. Thanks for sharing this recipe. - 9/26/11

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  • sounds interesting. Now I'll have to give it a try! I have the vanilla bean...just need the alcohol. - 9/26/11

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  • great recipe--good to have on hand-- - 9/26/11

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  • thank you - 9/26/11

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  • This is very timely - I went to buy pure vanilla extract at the grocery Friday, and couldn't believe how costly it was! I'm putting this on the "to do" list for the weekend!
    - 9/26/11

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  • This recipe came a little late for me. I recently purchased a small bottle of Spice Islands "Pure Vanilla' extract after looking at huge bottles at Costco. My stash of real Mexican vanilla was used last spring in a mug of warm milk and I needed some vanilla to bake a batch of cookies. - 9/26/11

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  • Amazing flavor and so easy! - 9/26/11

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  • Very cool!! I gotta try this one. - 9/26/11

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  • I have a bottle of 40% vodka that someone gave me. I'm not going to drink it. Is is strong enough for making vanilla flavoring? If not what is the best strength to use for this recipe? - 6/18/11

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  • Yes this is a great way to get REAL vanilla! Try it, you will use it more the the fake. I love it in a glass of milk with fake sugar. - 6/16/11

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  • great one - 6/16/11

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  • I will def be passing this on to my mom, she bakes a lot and would love this! - 6/15/11

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  • This is fantastic! I had homemade at a friends mom's house in Ireland and haven't been able to recreate it. I am so excited, the vanolla beans are on my list. - 6/15/11

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  • Is there a flavor of brandy to use? This would make a wonderful gift for all our "baking" friends! - 6/15/11

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  • Where do you get vanilla beans for a $1 each? - 6/15/11

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  • This is the best vanilla I've ever had! I made some and gave it as gifts ... so pretty in a nice jar. I need to start a new batch as I've used up all of mine. - 6/15/11

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  • Vanilla pods are readily available in the UK at major supermarkets and health food stores. This recipe sounds like a great idea as vanilla extract costs a fortune here - I'm going to be trying it out! - 4/4/11

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  • This is so cool......thanks for the info !!! - 3/22/11

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  • I made some of this for Christmas gifts. I did not use Vodka, I used Brandy. A person at the liquor store advised me to get this one brand of Brandy that already had a vanilla taste to it and with the heat and adding the vanilla beans it turned out great. Makes great gifts!! - 3/3/11

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  • Can't wait to try this! - 3/2/11

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  • I have a batch on my kitchen counter ready for the little bottles. YUM!! - 3/1/11

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  • For all the celiacs out there--use vodka made from potatoes and it will be gluten free! I started doing this so I could make goodies for a celiac friend (and I use a big bottle of vodka and make lots) - 3/1/11

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  • "True" vanilla is so expensive; I use a lot because I bake all the time. Anxious to try this; will get the beans! By the way unless you drink it from the bottle, extracts will not make you go off your 12 step program; during cooking the alcohol evaporates & just a tiny amount in each serving. - 3/1/11

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  • Have not tryed yet but will do so very soon, thanks - 3/1/11

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  • Vanilla extract, BY LAW contains vanilla. It is vanilla flavoring that doesn't. - 3/1/11

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  • I'm wondering about the bottle that you store the stuff in while it "becomes"....vanilla extract. Or Essence. I'm a little confused about that....but does the bottle have to be dark? Only one comment mentioned that, but it makes sense to me, since it is being stored for up to two months. - 3/1/11

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  • My granddaughter is needs to be gluten free. Therefore I have to find a potato vodka, not the traditional type in most package stores. - 3/1/11

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