Almond extract is typically used to give a rich, distinctive flavour to baked goods such as cookies and cakes. You can make your own almond extract at home using alcohol as the solvent. Alcohol extracts the flavourful volatile oils, also known as essential oils, and is used commercially to make extracts from countless foods. It does take some time to fully extract the flavours, though. Homemade almond extract will keep indefinitely if the bottles are placed in a cool, dark cupboard.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Peeled, blanched almonds, about 113gr.
- Food processor
- Quart-size glass jar
- Brandy or vodka
- Basket-type coffee filter
- Small bottles for the finished extract
Grind the almonds using a food processor. Don't process them too long or you'll make almond butter. Process them until they are in fine particles, about the size of raw sugar or the decorative sugar sprinkled on sugar cookies.
Put the ground-up almonds into a 1-quart glass jar.
Add 2 cups of good quality brandy or good quality vodka to the jar. Each of these spirits will create a slightly different flavour in the finished product. Experiment to find which one you prefer.
Cover the jar and put it in a dark cupboard.
Shake the jar once a day for six weeks.
At the end of six weeks, strain the mixture through a coffee filter and place the strained almond extract into small bottles.
Tips and warnings
- Use this method to make citrus extract, too. Substitute orange, lemon or lime peels, using only the coloured, outer part of the peels and none of the bitter white membrane. Vodka works best with citrus.
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