I have used so many tutorials over the years that I'm starting to feel guilty. This is my rather meager attempt at writing a tutorial. I picked something easy - a child could do this. Well, except for buying the vodka - they can't do that. And you probably don't want them measuring and pouring it either. Oh yeah, there's a sharp knife involved. I'd keep them away from that, too. So maybe this isn't really a tutorial for a child to follow. But it's easy enough that they could.
It takes thirty days to make homemade vanilla. Well, it doesn't take you thirty days to make it. Rather, it ferments for thirty days so you'll want to start this around Thanksgiving if you want to give these bottles away for Christmas gifts.
You're going to need three things: medium sized glass bottles with cork tops, vanilla beans and vodka. You use one vanilla bean and one cup of vodka per bottle. Wash and dry the bottles and corks.
Slice open one side of the vanilla bean pod with the tip of a sharp knife. I don't cut all the way through the pod, just one side of it. After I cut it, I bend it a little bit to open it up some. You can use your fingers to do this too. Put one vanilla bean in each bottle. You may have to bend the bean to get it completely in the bottle.
Pour in one cup of vodka making sure the vanilla beans are completely submerged. The bottle in the front has only a half cup of vodka in it since I ran out. I had to go get more vodka. A fifteen minute project turned into an hour long project. Moral of the story? Make sure you have enough vodka on hand and this is a fairly quick and satisfying project. Put a cork on it and let it sit in a dark cupboard for thirty days. Mine started to turn gold within an hour or so and it gets a nice deep rich color as the days go by. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor. This makes a fantastic gift for any baking friends you have. Enjoy!