Tempting? Expensive vanilla extract can be made DIY style for less $$ and more fun!
Here's what I did:
1. I bought some vanilla beans off Ebay - for $10.99 (and free shipping!) I purchased 20 Grade A Tahitian Vanilla beans and I received 22 of these beans and 10 Grade B beans extra for free!! What a steal - I paid about 35cents a bean!
2. Find some bottles. I used the beautiful brown bottle in the picture. I bought them from my friend Rachel - she uses these bottles for her wonderful Aromatherapy
3. Buy some booze - vodka to be precise - 3/4 cup for every bean is the ratio I used approximately (I actually used 4 ounces for each bean)
4. There are many many recipes online, they vary slightly... this is what I did with my friends... we heated the vodka (don't boil it! just heat it up a bit) and split the beans, scraped out the bean goodness and put the scrapings and the bean shells into the jars. Then pour the hot vodka into the jar to fill and put the lid on.
5. Shake the jar, shake it once a day for a week and then voila - vanilla extract!
I even read that you can refill the bottle as you use it up, just top it off with more vodka. It lasts for a couple of years. Oh yeah. This is much less expensive than the stuff you find in stores!
Then since I had way more beans then I needed for the extract, I also purchased a bottle of decent vodka (the extract was made with cheap stuff) and put some split beans in the bottle - DIY vanilla vodka. hm.... I think it will smell good :)