Homemade Vanilla Extract
-8 oz vodka (I used Skyy because it was on sale)
-5 Madagascar vanilla beans, whole
-(2) 4 oz. glass bottle with a cork
Take a sharp knife and cut your vanilla bean in half length-wise leaving about 1/2 inch intact at the top. You can slice it completely in the middle or just break through the top layer. Do NOT scrape out the beans. Place 2 1/2 vanilla beans in each glass jar and cover with vodka. Store in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor. About every 2 weeks give each bottle a gentle shake. Once vanilla is done steeping, use it as you normally would use extract in baking. Once your bottle is near empty, refill again with vodka and steep again for at least 6-8 weeks. You can do this several times. You get get lots of uses out of the vanilla beans. Once you feel that the vanilla isn't as strong then replace the vanilla beans. You can take the old vanilla beans, dry them off and add to a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar.