Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Extract or Vodka?

So I wanted to make Vanilla extract and after weeks of research I discovered that its made with vodka! (Thanks twig and thistle). who knew?! Apparently you soak vanilla beans in vodka for several months and poof... EXTRACT! orrrrrr vanilla vodka perhaps... So I paired some homemade extract with a recipe for either a vanilla martini using the vodka, or malted vanilla bean cookies using the extract... naughty or nice... YOU CHOOSE! :D Recipe for the extract and cookies below.


Vanilla Extract
Ingredients/ recipe can be multiplied easily to make for fun gift giving!
3 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka
glass jar with tight fitting lid

1 Using a paring knife cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.
2 Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka.
3 Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for 2 months or longer.
Lasts for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.

Malted Vanilla Bean Cookies
Makes about 6 dozen

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup plain malted-milk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, malted-milk powder, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Mix in sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract, and combine. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and mix to combine. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (such as Ateco #825). Pipe 2 1/2-inch strips onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until bottom edges are golden brown, 11 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

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