As simple as it is, it's super satisfying to use vanilla extract that has actual vanilla beans floating around.
We like to buy a vodka bottle that is simple and can be used for the extract (just remove the label). Simply slit 5 (plus or minus a few) vanilla beans on one side so the vanilla seeds can seep out into the vodka.
No matter how many times I use a vanilla bean, I am still fascinated by the amount of seeds they contain, all the while breathing deeply that scent that is never recreated exactly.
Over time the infusion (and color saturation) gets stronger. We refill our bottle with new vodka and more vanilla beans as we use it over time and just keep it going like a marathon. You could even engrave it for a more personalized touch.Tie a tidy bow and hand it over to a very happy (spoiled) foodie! ;)