Simple DIY Homemade Extracts

Christmas, Holidays, How-To, Recipes
on December 10, 2014
Simple DIY Homemade Extracts
Chia Chong
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Libbie SummersA good gift leaves a glowing impression; a great one makes that impression last and linger for years. Go for great—and do so deliciously. Instead of gone-in-a-snap cookies, give your friends bottles of homemade extracts or simple syrups and watch as their recipes take on an all new “wow” factor through the new year.

Libbie Summers, author, chef, blogger and all around creative mastermind, is the one who convinced us that homemade extracts not only make good gifts, but are a necessity in the kitchen. In her latest cookbook, Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude, she attests that “homemade extracts are smoother in flavor than store-bought extracts of the same name. They are a little sleepy—they don’t overpower, they enhance flavor. In baking as in life, little things become the important details.”

The following extract recipes (along with with two heavenly cakes to use them in) are all pulled from the brilliant and audacious Sweet and Vicious. For more extracts, simple syrups and recipes, check out her book.

DIY Extracts

Packaging Inspiration:

I like to go to the liquor store and purchase miniature bottles of liquor that have interesting shapes to package the extracts in. Just empty the contents (preferably into a cocktail) and run the bottle through a hot cycle in the dishwasher before filling with your homemade extract. One of my favorite bottles is the one St. Germain (an elderflower liqueur) is sold in … Whatever you do, make sure you include one of your favorite recipes using the extract—that’s what makes a gift special. —Libbie Summers

 

Extracts and Simple Syrups Recipes:

Vanilla Extract

Yield: 1/2 cup

  • 3 fresh (prefer ably organic) vanilla beans
  • 1⁄2 cup vodka, rum, or bourbon
  1. Have a sterilized jar (run through a hot dishwasher cycle) with a tight-fitting lid ready.
  2. With a sharp paring knife, starting 1⁄2 inch from the end of each vanilla bean, make a slit down one side without cutting all the way through the other side of the bean. Put the beans in the jar and pour the vodka over them. Screw the lid on tight and give it a good shake. Set aside in a dark place for 1 month, giving it a shake every few days. Strain into a clean sterilized jar and put the lid on tightly. Store the vanilla extract in a cool, dark place for up to 2 years. There is no need to refrigerate.

 

Lemon Extract

Simple DIY Homemade Extracts | Relish.com

Eliza Barrera

Yield: 1 cup

  • 2 large organic lemons, scrubbed clean and dried
  • 1 cup naturally flavored lemon vodka (Hangar One Citron Buddha’s Hand is good option), or plain vodka
  1. Have a sterilized jar (run through a hot dishwasher cycle) with a tight-fitting lid ready.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lemons so you get only the yellow rind, avoiding the white part of the peel, which will make the extract bitter. Cut the rind into thin strips, put them in the jar, and pour the vodka over them. Screw the lid on tight and give it a good shake. Set aside in a dark place for 1 month, giving it a shake every few days. Strain into a clean sterilized jar and put the lid on tightly. Store the lemon extract in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. There is no need to refrigerate.

 

Almond Extract

Yield: 1 cup

  • 1 heaping cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1 cup vodka
  1. Have a sterilized jar (run through a hot dishwasher cycle) with a tight-fitting lid ready.
  2. Put the nuts in the jar and pour the vodka over them. Screw the lid on tight and give it a good shake. Set aside in a dark place for 1 month, giving it a shake every few days. Strain into a clean sterilized jar and put the lid on tightly. Store the almond extract in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. There is no need to refrigerate.

 

Lavender Simple Syrup

Simple DIY Homemade Extracts

Chia Chong

Yield: 1 cup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lavender extract
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and 1 cup water. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes, then stir in the lavender extract. Store lavender simple syrup in a sterilized bottle (run it through the dishwasher) with a tight-fitting lid in a cool dry place for up to 3 months

 

Lavender Extract

Yield: 1/2 cup

  • 3 tablespoons dried pesticide-free lavender buds
  • 1⁄2 cup vodka
  1. Have a sterilized jar (run through a hot dishwasher cycle) with a tight-fitting lid ready.
  2. Put the lavender buds in the jar and pour the vodka over them. Screw the lid on tight and give it a good shake. Set aside in a dark place for 2 weeks, giving it a shake every few days. Strain into a clean sterilized jar and put the lid on tightly. Store the lavender extract in a cool, dark place for up to 2 years. There is no need to refrigerate

 

Cake Recipes to Pair With:

Lavender Cake

Vanilla Lavender Cake | Relish.com

Chia Chong

Sweet and Sour Lemonhead Cake

Lemonhead Cake | Relish.com

Chia Chong

 

Sweet and ViciousFor more from Libbie, add Sweet and Vicious to your cookbook collection, visit her at LibbieSummers.com and see the following features:

Spotlight On: Libbie Summers

Creative Pie Crust Designs for the Holidays

DIY Pull-Apart Bread Recipe: 5 Ways