4 Homemade Extracts for Coffee Creamers (and flavoring all manner of things)



After a deluge of comments from my two articles last week on making homemade coffee creamers (Homemade Powdered Creamers WITHOUT the Weird Ingredients and Yes Virginia, There IS a Homemade Liquid Creamer!), I was asked, “Can’t you also save money by making the extracts?” My answer to that is YES!

There is an explanation of the methods to make your own homemade extracts in my article Extracts/Tinctures from Herbs & Spices, however I will go ahead and break down the specific recipes for you. If you are looking for an alcohol-free extraction process, please see the aforementioned article. Vanilla, Hazelnut, Peppermint, and Almond Extract recipes are all given here to simplify the process for you. Enjoy!

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Vanilla Extract

6 Vanilla Beans in your favorite variety
1 cup 75-80 proof Vodka
(You can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy which all add their own flavors; Vodka is the most neutral in taste.)

  1. Use a knife to to cut the ends of the bean off. Split the bean in half. Cut the vanilla beans into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces have more surface area which yields a stronger extract.
  2. Place vanilla bean pieces in a sterilized jar and cover completely with the alcohol you have chosen. Shake the jar thoroughly.
  3. Label, date, and store your extract in a cool, dark place.
  4. Shake the contents vigorously daily for at least the first week. (Tip: I put my extracts close to my coffeemaker. As I am waiting for my coffee brewing cycle to finish every morning, I shake my bottles of extract.) If you notice that your vanilla beans are no longer covered by the liquid in the jar, add more alcohol.
  5. Sample your extract after 2 months. If it is not strong enough for your tastes, steep for a longer period of time, up to 6 months.
  6. When the extract is to your liking it is time to strain your extract. You will need a clean funnel and a coffee filter or a clean strainer. Put the funnel in a clean bottle. Put the filter or strainer in the funnel. The strainer works for most material, however the coffee filter gives you a finer, clearer product. Pour the extract into the funnel and filter it into the clean bottle. Cap tightly.

Note: I usually just leave my beans in the jar and top off very once in a while. The original beans usually last me about a year with this method.

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Hazelnut Extract

1 cup hazelnuts , raw if you can find them
1 cup 75-80 proof vodka or other 75-80 proof alcohol (tequila, or bourbon, or rum)
1 vanilla bean

  1. If you are able to find your hazelnuts raw, roast the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet at 350°F/180°C until the skins start crackling and turning deep brown to blackish. (about 8-10 min). If the hazelnuts are not raw, move on to step 3.
  2. Dump them on a clean tea towel, and while they are hot,  rub them vigorously to remove the skins.
  3. Return the nuts to the cookie sheet, and continue roasting at 350°F/180°C until they turn dark golden brown and are ‘sweaty’ with their natural oils.
  4. Remove and roughly chop hazelnuts being careful not to lose the natural oils.
  5. Pour your alcohol of choice into a lidded glass jar, and then add the hot hazelnuts.
  6. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the bean pod into pieces and put the seeds and pod all in with the hazelnuts.
  7. Label, seal and store in a cool, dark dry place for at least 4 weeks. For at least the first week, shake vigorously every day. Sample your extract after 4 weeks. If it is not strong enough for your taste, steep for a longer period of time, up to 8 weeks.
  8. When the extract is to your liking it is time to strain your extract. You will need a clean funnel and a coffee filter or a clean strainer. Put the funnel in a clean bottle. Put the filter or strainer in the funnel. The strainer works for most material, however the coffee filter gives you a finer, clearer product. Pour the extract into the funnel and filter it into the clean bottle. Cap tightly.

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Peppermint Extract

1/3 cup fresh peppermint leaves (packed) OR 3 tablespoons dried peppermint leaf
1 cup 75-80 proof vodka or other 75-80 proof alcohol

  1. Wash and chop the mint. Cut the material into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces have more surface area   which   might   yield   a   stronger   extract.   Whole materials tend to pile up above the alcohol after shaking; smaller pieces don’t usually do this.
  2. Place  clean,  dry  herbs  in  a  sterilized  jar  and  cover completely with alcohol. Shake the jar thoroughly.
  3. Label and store your extract. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for the steeping period specified, shaking the contents vigorously daily for at least the first week. If you notice that your herbs are no longer covered by the liquid in the jar, add more alcohol.
  4. Sample your extract after 4 weeks. If it is not strong enough for your taste, steep for a longer period of time, up to 6 weeks.
  5. When the extract is to your liking it is time to strain your extract. You will need a clean funnel and a coffee filter or a clean strainer. Put the funnel in a clean bottle. Put the filter or strainer in the funnel. The strainer works for most material, however the coffee filter gives you a finer, clearer product. Pour the extract into the funnel and filter it into the clean bottle. Cap tightly.

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Almond Extract

1 cup almonds, raw if you can find them
1 vanilla bean
1 cup 75-80 proof vodka or other 75-80 proof alcohol

  1. If you are able to find your almonds raw, roast the almonds on a cookie sheet at 350°F/180°C until the skins start crackling and turning deep brown to blackish. (about 8-10 min). If the almonds are not raw, move on to step 3.
  2. Dump them on a clean tea towel, and while they are hot, rub them vigorously to remove the skins.
  3. Return the nuts to the cookie sheet, and continue roasting at 350°F/180°C until they turn dark golden brown and are ‘sweaty’ with their natural oils.
  4. Remove and roughly chop almonds being careful not to lose the natural oils.
  5. Pour your alcohol of choice into a lidded glass jar, and then add the hot almonds.
  6. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the bean pod into pieces and put the seeds and pod all in with the almonds.
  7. Label, seal and store in a cool, dark dry place for at least 4 weeks. For at least the first week, shake vigorously every day. Sample your extract after 4 weeks. If it is not strong enough for your taste, steep for a longer period of time, up to 8 weeks.
  8. When the extract is to your liking it is time to strain your extract. You will need a clean funnel and a coffee filter or a clean strainer. Put the funnel in a clean bottle. Put the filter or strainer in the funnel. The strainer works for most material, however the coffee filter gives you a finer, clearer product. Pour the extract into the funnel and filter it into the clean bottle. Cap tightly.