Most folks don’t think about extracts unless they are baking something. And if you’re out, you just run down to your local grocers and buy some. You pick up that cute little bottle of extract made by that well known spice company for about $3 to $4 per bottle. Or, if you’re into organic, you pick the one that is $11 or more $ per bottle.
But have you REALLY looked at how much you are getting for your money? I mean REALLY looked! ONE OUNCE! Let’s look at it differently. Most recipes call for 1 teaspoon of extract per batch. You are getting only 6 teaspoons for that ounce of extract that you paid anywhere from $3 to $11+++ for.
Why are you doing that when you can make it yourself??
First you need Vodka or Bourbon or other liquor that is at least 40% alcohol. Not top shelf, just the cheap stuff. A liter bottle may cost you $10 to $15 dollars. You will need 5 grade B chopped Vanilla beans(about $0.45 each, less if bought in bulk), or the zest of 1 lemon + a Tablespoon of sugar, or the zest of an orange, a handful of chopped raw almonds, etc. per Cup of liquor. Use some Mason jars and pour your liquor into the jar. Add your Vanilla beans or lemon zest or almonds, etc. For the next 2 months, give that jar(s) a shake daily. After 2 months or longer if you wish, you have your extract of choice. Just filter it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove the solid particles and pour into jars (decorative if you wish) and store in a dark place.
Lets do some more math. You initial outlay will be anywhere from $25-$35 dollars for about 4.25 cups of extract or about $1 per ounce. That is, if you are using a liter bottle of liquor. So that liter bottle will make 33.8 ounces of extract. Multiply the 33 x $3 = $99 or 33 x $11 = $363. Now subtract your total cost to make that same amount, you will be saving $65 to $300+.
And it makes great gifts for that person you know who loves to bake.