I sit and look out my window at the snow that fell overnight. Peaceful, It looks more like January then April. My son came down joking about putting up the Christmas tree. True , something about freshly fallen snow puts one in the seasonal spirit. Instantly my mind wanders to Christmas baking. The smells, and the joy of sharing with others.
With pantry inventory “to do list” – taking place today- I make a mental note to include items for Christmas baking. Extracts are on the top of that list. Extracts are great in Christmas baking and a perfect item to make in advance. Great for the not so busy spring, and the nice long brewing lets all those flavours really develop.
True extracts have been around since biblical times. They use alcohol and time to draw flavours out of the plants you add to them. You can use glycerine to create extracts but I have never done so so I cannot speak to that.
In this case we are extracting mint, but also vanilla, almond, orange, lemon etc. Most case an average of 6 mos. to fully develop flavours. Mint I find takes only 8-12 weeks. So you will have homemade mint extract for all your christmas needs in no time at all. Keep it stocked year round and have some homemade mint chip ice cream in July!
- 1 cup tightly packed washed mint leaves- stems removed
- 1 – 2 cups vodka unflavoured
- Pack washed mint into clean sterilized jar pour over vodka and seal with tight fitting lid. Place in a dark area at room temp to steep. Shake the jar once a week. After 3 months or so open it up and test strength. Mint scent and flavour should be nice and strong. If not let sit longer until desired strength is reached.
- ** note mint leaves may discolour during process this is normal.