- Split two vanilla beans lengthwise, then cut them in half crosswise.
- Put the beans, including the seeds, that may fall out, in a clean glass jar.
- Add a half cup of bourbon, seal the jar, and give it a vigorous shake.
- Put in a cool, dark cupboard for 2 weeks, and shake it well every day.
- After 2 weeks, allow the extract to sit undisturbed for another 2 weeks.
- It is ready to use. If you keep replenishing the extract that you use with an equal amount of bourbon, the beans should last you for at least a year, or longer if you use less extract.
~ Recipe from Christmas with Paula Deen
Tip: You can try Vodka, Rum, or Brandy as the alcohol for the extract. It is essentially the alcohol that acts as a preservative. Using Vodka is the traditional way.
More info on vanilla extract here.