Easy DIY Vanilla Extract, aka last-minute holiday gift gold

December 23, 2014

You know the date? I don’t mean to stress you out. Of course you know the date—it was a stupid question. Christmas is in just days and it’s okay that you haven’t finished your holiday shopping. You’re not a bad person, you’re just a busy person. And maybe a little disorganized. Hey, none of us can do everything.

Said me to myself.

If you’re in the same boat, I have a lovely, easy gift idea that totally works at the last minute: DIY Vanilla Extract. It comes together in 5 and all you have to do is hit the store for cheap vodka, vanilla beans, and a pretty bottle (Target, Walmart, your local craft store, or even a hardware store where you can get mason jars will do). Nice ribbon and tags will go a long way, too.

Watch this week’s video for everything you need to know about making homemade vanilla extract. All the details—like how many vanilla beans you should use per cup of vodka, how you have to shake it once a day in the first week and more—are in the video and a few are critical, too, so watch. Seriously. It goes quick and my boys are cute (just nod and agree).

The only point I want to also call out here is that if you put this gift together now, you need to let the recipient know that it won’t be ready for a while. Like for 8 months. See, the longer you let the vanilla sit, the better the flavor. If you crack it open early, you’ll basically have vanilla infused vodka. Mention this if your recipient is over 21-years-old: it may be a good thing. For real deal extract, though, it needs to sit.

While you’re putting together a few pretty bottles of this stuff, I suggest that you make one for yourself, too. It’s too easy not to and you’ll have amazing homemade vanilla for next year’s holiday baking season.

Before I sign off until after the holiday, here are a few more easy, last minute edible gift ideas. And have a Merry Christmas. I love you guys. xo


Meyer Lemon Curd recipe 5 ways | One Hungry Mama

Meyer Lemon Curd
If you have time to cook up a batch of curd, it makes a wonderful homemade gift. Go basic or follow one of the 5 adaptations that I provide to kick your lemon curd up a notch. (Hello holiday spiced Lemon Curd: Get in my belly!)


Easy DIY edible gifts: Ginger Hot Chocolate Mix | One Hungry Mama

Ginger Hot Chocolate Mix
This is the easiest of all. Grab a pretty tin at Target and pack it with this magical concoction.


White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn | Simply Scratch

Photo: Simply Scratch

10 easy edible gifts that the kids can help make
The last part says it all. You’re busy, put them to work.


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