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Homemade Extracts

Extracts enhance the flavors when baking. My favorite extracts are vanilla and almond. I use vanilla extract in almost all my chocolate baking. Almond extract is the star ingredient in my chocolate dipped almond biscotti. Chocolate extract adds an extra kick of chocolate to any chocolate cake or brownie. A good quality flavored extract can be expensive. It is cheaper to make them. Keep in mind that making extracts is cheaper than purchasing a good quality product; however, this may be more expensive if you typically use a cheaper imitation product.

You will need containers that are airtight. I purchased mason jars at a local craft store. The vanilla beans were bought online. However, you may be able to find them in Whole Foods or a specialty store.

Vanilla Extract Recipe


5 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka (220 ml)
Mason jar or other airtight container


1. Split 5 vanilla beans. To split each vanilla bean cut each one down the middle with a sharp knife, leaving about an inch at each end intact.
2. Place the vanilla beans in the mason jar.
3. Pour the vodka over the vanilla beans.
4. Store in a cool dark place (kitchen cabinet is fine).
5. Shake every few days.
6. The extract will be ready in about 2-3 months.

Another easy option is to add the vanilla beans to a 220 ml bottle of vodka. With this method you can just use the vodka bottle.

Chocolate Extract Recipe


1/2 cup vodka
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
Mason jar or airtight container


1. Combine the cocoa powder and vodka in a jar.
2. Shake every few days.
3. Store in a cool dark place.
4. In 2-3 months drain through a sieve or a coffee filter.

Almond Extract Recipe


3 tbsp. almonds without the skin
1/2 cup vodka
Mason jar


1. Combine the almonds and vodka in the jar.
2. Shake every few days.
3. Store in a cool, dry place.
4. In 2-3 months drain through a sieve or coffee filter.

Enjoy and sweeten the soul with chocolate!

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