17 November 2015

The Easiest Christmas Gift

If you love to give handmade and homemade gifts for Christmas but always seem to find the intentions are good but you never quite get there, then this is the homemade gift for you!

MOO Vanilla Extract is the easiest gift you'll ever make, it will take you less than two minutes to make seven 100ml bottles of beautiful vanilla extract - you can't get much faster than that!

You'll need a bottle of vodka (cheap is fine, it is the quality of the vanilla bean that will determine the quality of your extract) and four vanilla beans. Now vanilla beans are expensive from the supermarket. I buy mine online after checking prices between suppliers.

Once you have your vodka and the vanilla beans, simply split the beans lengthwise. A very sharp paring knife is great for this. Then drop the beans into the vodka, put the cap back on and put the bottle in a cool, dark cupboard for six weeks (do this now and you'll have plenty of time to get it made before Christmas).

I take the bottle out every couple of days and give it a shake. It's not strictly necessary, I just like to see the colour change and see the vanilla develop before my eyes.

After six weeks you can decant the vanilla extract into sterilised glass bottles.  These you can buy, or use bottles you have, ask friends and family to keep them for you, look for them in op shops. If you can find dark bottles, all the better, but they are hard to find in op shops and rather expensive to buy. Free is always good. Remove any labels, wash them thoroughly and sterilise them. Then decant the vanilla into the jars and put the cap on.  Label the bottles and there you have it - beautiful, fragrant, flavourful vanilla.

Don't throw away the vanilla beans, add them to your new bottle of vodka, along with two fresh vanilla beans and start the process all over again.

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