I use lots of vanilla in my baking so for Christmas my folks gave me a tiny package of Madagascar Vanilla Beans! Made me so happy! And homemade vanilla tastes amazing – so much better than store-bought extracts even if one pays extra for the real stuff and not the imitation.
I had about 7 beans so I used 2 cups of brandy. To make, split the beans down the center so the seeds are exposed. Immerse all the split beans in the alcohol and leave it for several months, shaking vigorously every day. Believe me, once you’ve tasted homemade vanilla it’s worth waiting so long for it!