(from left to right: Lemon Extract, Mint Extract, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract)
As with many other things I do in my kitchen, I found out how easy it was to make my own vanilla extract. I happily made my vanilla extract and excitedly checked every couple of days to watch the color change and darken. Ahh, finally I had my own extract to use in all of my baking projects.
And then like with everything else in the kitchen, I decided to see how many extracts t hat I could make on my own. I made almond next because I like it in a lot of cookie recipes. I love lemon anything so that was next. I don't know why I thought I needed an entire quart jar of lemon extract, but that is what I made. Sometimes I get a little over excited in the kitchen. I see lots of lemon desserts in our future. I received quite a bit of mint in my Bountiful Basket last pick up and used part of it to make a mint extract. I was going to make some coconut too, but I ran out of vodka!
Vanilla extract I used 3 vanilla beans split and 1 cup of vodka. You can use bourbon or rum, but since I was making others around the same time, I stuck with the vodka.
Almond extract: I used 1/2 cup of sliced almonds that still had the skin per 1 cup of vodka. The almond extract that you buy in the store, I believe, is made with raw almonds,which are harder to come by. The extract is a little weaker than the one in the store, but this still has a lot of flavor.
Lemon Extract: I took three organic lemons and used a vegetable peeler to peel the outer layer each lemon and added vodka.
Mint Extract: 1/2 cup of mint leaves to 1 cup of vodka.
I use the vanilla all the time and have been very happy with the taste. Last year for Christmas I made smaller bottles to give to some of my baker friends. I left one on my boss's desk and she called me to thank me and said "I think this is what heaven will smell like"! The bottles were a big hit.