Sunday, November 25, 2012
I have been one busy girl lately, but I just had to share these! They are all ready to pack in cute little decorative containers, well, almost.
While I haven't been as creative as I like with these, I am happy with the over all cost so far. And, it's quite easy to dress up canning jars! Find some cute ribbon, some cute fabric, and print out a picture, and you are done.
1/3 c. vodka
1 vanilla bean
Place vanilla bean in a cleaned jar (You can fold them up to fit). Pour vodka over vanilla bean, add a pinch of salt, and seal. Let soak for at least 2 weeks. When you are finished with the vanilla extract, you can cut the end off the vanilla bean and use the insides just like a fresh vanilla bean in any recipe. To make a larger amount, add up to 1 c. vodka for each vanilla bean.
For almond extract:
1/3 c. vodka
2 T. chopped almonds
Place almonds in a cleaned jar. Pour vodka over almonds and seal. Let sit for at least 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, remove almonds and add salt.
Other extract ideas involving nuts:
Pistachio (This is great, since it's much cheaper to add 2 T. chopped pistachio meats to vodka than purchase pistachio extract)
Nuts that don't work so well: macadamia, pecan
Unique ideas for the kitchen geek:
Instead of nuts, add 2 T. chopped lemon grass. This adds a great taste to short bread and sugar cookies.
Add rind of 1 lemon to vodka for lemon extract. This works for lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and orange.
Add 1 cinnamon stick for cinnamon extract (works great in recipes where you don't want to see the cinnamon)
Add 2 star anise for a beautiful anise extract
Add a few sprigs of fresh mint for a beautiful mint extract (the leaves stay green!).
Add the contents of one chai tea bag for chai extract. This can also be done with green tea, black tea, etc.
Add 2 T. coffee beans for coffee extract.
Time to brush off those old jars since I know you have already finished that summer jams!
And, stay tuned for my Christmas Baskets! I'm not making all those cookies this year, and have been preparing for almost a month for my upcoming baking!