I love anything vanilla. And pure Mexican vanilla extract is my favourite weapon in the kitchen. You can really taste the difference when you are using it in baking and around the house. Recently I was gifted with three containers of vanilla beans from a friend who went to Mexico (best gift ever!) so I thought it was time to put them to use.

The French 75 blog: Make your own Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

There are different types of vanilla beans and they all have their own unique flavour and characteristics. For our vanilla extract we used Mexican vanilla beans which add a sweet and creamy taste to your recipe. For our vanilla sugar we used Madagascar Vanilla, known for being smoky, dark, and full bodied. Making your own vanilla extract and vanilla sugar is super easy, anyone can do it and it takes about 5 minutes (the perfect type of DIY, I think). Here’s how:

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

5 vanilla beans

1 cup of vodka

one jar with seal

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 1. Take your vanilla beans and cut them lengthwise almost to the tip, exposing the insides and seeds. Repeat for all 5 beans.

Step 2. Place your vanilla beans in your jar that can be sealed.

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 3. Pour one cup of vodka into your jar completely submerging the beans in the liquid.

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

We had enough beans to do two jars, so we plunked half of them right into the vodka bottle making it even easier!

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 4. Shake every day for two months, then enjoy your wonderful & yummy vanilla extra in baking (I recommend making a batch of homemade buttermilk pancakes to really taste the flavour!), and various recipes.

Step 5. You can keep topping up your jar with vodka every now and again depending on how strong you like your extract to be.

Tip: Try out a few types of vanilla beans and see what type you like best!

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Sugar

This is a secret ingredient you can use in your baking, desserts, and is a great addition to your coffee! It is quickly becoming a staple in our kitchen. If you have a foodie in your life, this makes an awesome homemade gift around the holidays

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

2 vanilla beans

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 1. Take your vanilla beans and cut them lengthwise all the way down, and then in half to make them shorter. Scrape out the seeds and set aside

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 2. Fill up your jar a quarter of the way with granulated sugar

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 3. Stick your seeds and whole beans in the sugar, cover the top with the remaining sugar

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Step 4. Shake every way for two weeks, you can then remove the beans if you choose

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Gift giving Idea:

If you are giving this away as a gift we recommend jazzing up the lid a bit to make it look more interesting/personalized, here’s how:

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Because our lid was well used we decided to take an interesting picture that had a white border and trace the lid’s shape. For a more tailored gift print out a personal instagram photo on your colour printer.

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Then we cut out the shape and glued the picture it to the top of the lid. We then taped a seal on the top of the pictures to secure it to the lid while cutting carefully around the sides in a circle. Label the sugar as you please or add a personalized message!

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

Voila! Your very cute, easy, and personalized jar of homemade vanilla sugar.

The French 75 blog Homemade Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Sugar

What other things do you use your vanilla beans for? We would love to know! Happy vanilla-ing! xoxo