Saturday, March 8, 2014


Homemade vanilla extract smells so wonderful and is a great gift for a wide range of people!    Even non bakers can add a splash to their coffee or fresh whipped cream or even their morning yogurt smoothie. 

To make 1 quart:

3.5 cups vodka (not the good stuff, but get a decent brand)
1/2 cup bourbon or sometimes brandy or sometimes rum (another 1/2 cup vodka would also work)
2oz vanilla beans, each one split down the middle

Place all in a quart jar and shake well - you should see the seeds in the liquid.    Repeat every couple days for three months.

Vanilla extract, brewed in my Pennsylvania home for at least three months with three simple ingredients:   whole vanilla beans, vodka and a splash of bourbon.

I started making my own vanilla because I wanted a strong vanilla with no fillers.   I only brew double strength.   What is "Double Strength" or "Double Fold" vanilla?   Brewed with twice the vanilla beans for more of the vanilla scent and flavor.

No corn syrup.   No water.  No artificial flavors

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hot Fudge!

An approximate recipe:

about 16 ounces of dark / semi sweet chocolate  - broken up if bars - I used a really diverse brand mix from my chocolate bar cannister, but all "dark" chocolate.   Semi-sweet chocolate chips would work too.
1 1/2 sticks of butter

1 1/2 cups corn syrup
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons vanilla

Heat chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.    Stir until completely melted and smooth.      Add corn syrup, espresso powder, sweetened condensed milk.     Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes.      Turn off heat, stir in vanilla.    Store in jars in fridge for up to three months.