Back in September, I married vanilla beans and bourbon and waited for them to become my homemade vanilla extract.
Now that the minimum of two months has passed, I can finally share an update on how it all turned out. One word – fantastic.
The best way to describe the difference between my homemade extract and store-bought is that the store-bought version now tastes old and stale to me. The homemade version is so much more fragrant and sweet, in my opinion. This is totally worth making!
I started to use it around Thanksgiving to make Bakerella’s pumpkin pie bites. I deemed that it wasn’t quite strong enough yet, so I left it sit until it was time for the Christmas baking-palooza.
I tested it first in pancakes, discovered the extract was amazing, and used it for my Christmas pièce de résistance – pecan cups. They were a hit.
Let me give you a little bit of background on my mother’s recipe for pecan cups (you may call them pecan tassies). My mother has to make these every year for Christmas or the relatives won’t let her in the door. My husband dropped at Thanksgiving to his dad that I have a wicked pecan cup recipe, so I was conned into making them for Christmas and had enough for both families.
When my family gathered all together for the holiday, there were two versions of the same pecan cup recipe. The only differences between mine and my mother’s were my homemade vanilla and my homemade brown sugar. I don’t know which ingredient switch did the trick, but they tasted completely different in a totally delicious way. My husband and father-in-law loved them.
Moral of the post – you have to make this stuff!