I have been putting this off for quite some time. Thanks to ebay seller, Arizona Vanilla Company for selling me these gorgeous dozen of beans for a little over $1 each (including shipping)
See, I'm not a vodka drinker, never have been (more of a rum girl). So, I only wanted to buy what I was going to use for my attempt at making vanilla extract. So, I wanted to make a small amount, using a half pint or pint of vodka. After going to retailers, pints and smaller don't exist there. I'm too lazy to stop by the convenience store, so two weeks later (yep, I've had the beans for that long, maybe longer), I find myself in the middle of CVs buying uber cheap paper towels (since I stacked a coupon on top of a sale YAY) and saw SMALL SMALL SMALL bottles of liquor. I had 4 choices of vodka, so I bought a middle of the line Smirnoff half pint. :)
These vanilla beans are so long, and amazingly easy to get the seeds out of. Look at how gorgeous these are.
It seemed like the average was 5 beans/pint of vodka (tons of recipes on the internet), so since this is a half pint, I used 3 beans.
To extract the seeds from a vanilla bean, all you have to do is slice the bean all the way down, then take the blunt part of the knife and run it on the inside, scraping the seeds off the bean. Easy right?
Place the seeds and scraped bean leftovers in the vodka bottle. After it's all sliced and scraped, close the vodka and give it a good shake.
Store the bottle in a dark, cool place, shaking it every 2 days or so. Keep this going for about 2 months. Then, voila! Fresh extract for your baking! (well you want to pour the contents out into a strainer first to make sure it's nothing but liquid too)
Then, I read, use the leftover beans (dried out of course) to make vanilla sugar afterward! Talk about nifty!! Great gift idea for the coffee drinkers :)