Vanilla beans to vanilla extract
Making a recipe that calls for vanilla extract this afternoon. I have some beans, but have never used them before. Can I steep them in the coffee that is also called for in the recipe or should I do something else with them to make them "extract-y"?
You can scrape the seds into the coffee and add the same amount of bourbon. It won't be quite the same as if you had made your own extract. That you would need to plan ahead for. For a half cup you need 2 vanilla beans, split and 1/2 C. good quality bourbon. I'd recommend Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, it has a vanilla nose to it to begin with. Put the beans and any seed crumbs in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the bourbon. Cover tightly and shake the jar. Put away in a cool dark place and shake daily for 2 weeks. It will then be ready to use. As you take some out add an equal amount of bourbon to replenish the supply.
This isn't going to help you this afternoon, but my mom uses vodka and lets it steep for about 8 weeks. The bottles make nice hostess gifts or small Christmas presents for a large clan.