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Today, I am sharing how to make Homemade Flavored Extracts as part of my “Baking Basics” series. As part of this series, you’ll find recipes for homemade baking essentials, including how to make homemade vanilla extract, how to make evaporated milk, and more.
Making Homemade Extracts
Making homemade extracts for your baking needs is probably one of the easiest recipes for home cooks to follow. In this video, I show you how to make:
Making each one of these extracts is a bit different, and I share a few tips and tricks to get the best results and keep your extracts the freshest for the longest period of time.
In this video, I also review How to Make Vanilla Extract, which I covered in greater detail in a previous video. Vanilla Extract is probably the easiest out of all the extracts to make, and it lasts the longest. Some chefs call it a perpetual extract since you can keep renewing it.
Be sure to watch the recipe video as I walk you through the simple steps involved in making each of these Flavored Extracts. To prepare to make these extracts, be sure to check out my equipment and ingredient list so that you’ll be sure to have everything that you’ll need to get started.
Why Vodka for Extracts?
Personally, I like to use vodka when making my Vanilla Extract or other Flavored Extracts. Vodka is colorless and basically tasteless and odorless, so it lets the flavor of each extract shine through. However, you can also try other spirits, including rum or bourbon.
What If I Don’t Want to Use Alcohol in My Extract?
Keep in mind that when you use a Homemade Flavored Extract, you are most likely going to use it in baking. The heat of the oven will help the alcohol dissipate and just leave the lovely extract flavor behind.
However, if you are concerned about using high-proof alcohol in making an extract, you do have options:
- For replacing the vodka or other high-proof spirit in any extract recipe, substitute the alcohol called for with three parts liquid glycerine and one part water. Now keep in mind, glycerine is, in essence, an “alcohol” but with a much lower alcohol content than 80-100 proof spirits.
- You can also use a low-alcohol wine mixed with glycerine to make your extract. To learn how to make a low-alcohol extract, visit my sweet friend Heidi over at Rain Country Homestead.
More Ideas for the Traditional Foods Pantry
Now that you’ve learned how to make Homemade Flavored Extracts, be sure to try your hand at making more other essentials for stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry, including:
- How to Make a Variety of Homemade Vinegars playlist
- Baking Basics Essentials playlist – including how to make Natural Food Colorings, Evaporated Milk, and Condensed Milk
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How to Make Homemade Extracts
- 10 pint-sized jars or 10-quart sized jars
- 10 Vanilla beans
- Espresso coffee beans Or other dark roast beans
- Cracked cacao beans
- Cinnamon sticks
- Blanched slivered almonds, skins removed
- Shredded coconut
- Orange zest
- Lemon zest
- Lime zest
- VanillaFor the vanilla extract, add 10 vanilla beans to a jar and fill the jar with vodka, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Put a lid on the jar, give it a good shake, and then store it in a dark pantry or cupboard for 6 months until you reach the level of flavor that you like.
- Coffee, Cacao Beans, and Shredded CoconutFor the coffee extract, fill a jar halfway with coffee beans and then fill the jar with vodka, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Put a lid on the jar, give it a good shake, and then store it in a dark pantry or cupboard for at least 6-8 weeks or a maximum of 6 months until you reach the level of flavor that you like. Follow the same process for the cacao beans and the shredded coconut.
- CinnamonFor the cinnamon extract, fill a jar with the cinnamon sticks, leaving a 1-inch headspace, and then fill the jar with vodka, maintaining the 1-inch headspace. Put a lid on the jar, give it a good shake, and then store it in a dark pantry or cupboard for at least 6-8 weeks or a maximum of 6 months until you reach the level of flavor that you like.
- AlmondFor the almond extract, fill a jar with the almonds, leaving a 1-inch headspace, and then fill the jar with vodka, maintaining the 1-inch headspace. Put a lid on the jar, give it a good shake, and then store it in a dark pantry or cupboard for at least 6-8 weeks or a maximum of 6 months until you reach the level of flavor that you like.
- MintFor the mint extract, fill a jar with fresh mint, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Crush the mint for a minute or two to release the fragrance. Then fill the jar with vodka, maintaining the 1-inch headspace. Put a lid on the jar, give it a good shake, and then store it in a dark pantry or cupboard for at least 6-8 weeks or a maximum of 6 months until you reach the level of flavor that you like.
- Orange, Lemon and LimeFor the orange, lemon, and lime extract, fill each jar with the zest, leaving a 1-inch headspace, then fill each jar with vodka, maintaining the 1-inch headspace. Put the lids on each jar, give it a good shake, and then store it in a dark pantry or cupboard for at least 6-8 weeks or a maximum of 6 months until you reach the level of flavor that you like.
- Once you reach the level of flavor that you like, decant the amount of extract you need into a separate bottle and then add vodka to fill the jar containing the original extract ingredients. (See video.)
- Periodically, check your flavored extracts for freshness. If any of the ingredients have become rancid, discard them and begin a new batch. If any of the ingredients have begun to degrade but are not rancid, remove them and replace them with fresh ingredients. (See video.)
- Once decanted, flavored extracts can last indefinitely.
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Favorite Flavored Extracts Equipment
- 1-Liter Jar
- Wide-Mouth Pint-sized Jars
- Wide-Mouth Storage Lids
- 16-Ounce Swing Top Bottles
- 2-Ounce Bottles
Favorite Flavored Extracts Ingredients
- Madagascar Vanilla Beans
- Espresso Coffee Beans
- Organic Cacao Beans
- Organic Cinnamon Sticks
- Slivered Almonds
- Organic Shredded Coconut
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