Special equipment: One 8-ounce glass container, either a Mason jar or glass bottle with lid
Slice each bean from end to end and place in the glass container. Pour in the alcohol, making sure the vanilla beans are completely submerged. Store at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for about 8 weeks, shaking the bottle once or twice a week.
Use the vanilla extract in baking and any other way you would use store-bought extract.
Each variety of vanilla bean has its own unique flavor. If you prefer a smooth and creamy vanilla extract use a Madagascar vanilla bean; if you're going for a floral flavor try a Tahitian vanilla bean. As you use the vanilla extract, the tops of the beans will eventually start to show. Carefully remove the beans, cut them in half and place them back in the bottle. Make sure the beans are always covered by alcohol, as exposure to air can cause bacteria growth.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.