Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Extract + An Explanation of the Differences Between Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Different Countries ~ Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Extract + An Explanation of the Differences Between Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Different Countries


Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Extract + An Explanation of the Differences Between Vanilla from Different Countries

Homemade vanilla is very easy to make, but it takes advance planning. You simply slice the vanilla beans lengthwise and soak them in vodka (or another alcohol) for several weeks or longer. In today's post, I'll share a recipe for vanilla extract and then also provide information about the differences between some popular vanilla extracts.  Let's start with the recipe!

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Extract



1. Slit the vanilla beans down the middle. You want the beans to be exposed.

2. Place the vanilla beans in an airtight container.

3. Add the vodka to the container and seal.  Shake well.

4. Let the beans soak for at least 2 months, but preferably 6+ months before using. Shake well before each use.

The photo below shows (a) a new container of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Beans and (b) a vanilla extract that I made two months ago. You'll notice that the vanilla bean is slightly sticking out of the vanilla extract.  This is because I made a 1 ounce batch so that you would be able to see some of the vanilla bean sticking out of the top. I plan to leave it in for 6 months before I start to use this batch. It would be fine to use it now, but I prefer a richer flavor by allowing it to sit longer.

An Explanation of the Differences Between Vanilla from Different Countries

There are well over 100 variations of vanilla beans. Many factors may affect the taste of a vanilla bean, including things such as  climate, soil, and more. I'll discuss the differences between my favorite types of vanilla by Nielsen-Massey that come from Mexico, Madagascar, and Tahiti. In addition to the location, the brand matters too. You want a brand that is dedicated to quality. I have been partial to the Nielsen-Massey brand for more than two decades because their products are excellent quality. In fact, one my first splurges after I graduated college and took my first full-time job was Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Extract that I purchased from Williams and Sonoma!

Nielsen-Massey is iconic in world of vanilla. They are a popular brand for chefs and foodies who strive for perfection when they prepare recipes. My three favorite vanilla extracts from Nielsen-Massey include Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, and Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract. Let me share how I choose between these three when I prepare a recipe.

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla ExtractMadagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is the perfect all-purpose vanilla for its flavor and consistency in both hot and cold applications.  I use it in recipes where a depth of vanilla strengthens the flavor such as in chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, pancakes, and more.

Nielsen-Massey Mexican Pure Vanilla ExtractMexican Pure Vanilla Extract’s unique flavor profile means it works especially well with chocolate, citrus fruits, cinnamon, cloves and other warm spices. The vanilla’s spiciness complements chile peppers and tomatoes, smoothing out their heat and acidity. I use it in recipes such as Mexican hot cocoa, pumpkin bread, and vanilla glazes.

Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla ExtractTahitian vanilla’s flavor profile is floral, fruity and often described as anise- and cherry-like. Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract is best used in refrigerated and frozen foods, where it adds a delicious and delicate vanilla flavor. I use it in ice cream, vanilla yogurt smoothies, and breads.

Learn more

I hope that you enjoyed our recipe for homemade vanilla extract and the glimpse into my vanilla preferences.  In addition to the vanilla beans and vanilla extracts that I featured above, also visit Nielsen-Massey to learn more about other fabulous extracts that we love such as the Pure Peppermint Extract and Pure Almond Extract.  Now that holiday baking season is here, it's a wonderful time to stock up on your favorite products from Nielsen-Massey!

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