Hey y’all! This post will be short, but I had to tell you about this genius idea I had! (To be fair, this idea isn’t NEW by any means..After I thought of it I looked on Pinterest and noticed it HAS in fact been done….but I did think of it by myself first so that counts for something right? ;)) Remember my post about how to make homemade vanilla extract? Well I thought I’d try that but with cinnamon sticks! I had a bag of cinnamon sticks I bought just for adding to pretty food photos as a “garnish” but otherwise I didn’t have a use for them. I was trying to think about a way I could make a homemade pumpkin spice latte, but all the recipes I saw called for ground spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, etc. I’ve made hot drinks with ground spices before and they’re always grainy…spices don’t dissolve in liquid, so you have to keep stirring the particles up. I didn’t want a gritty PSL, so I was trying to think of ways to get the flavors of the spices in liquid form so it would be smooth! This is how I thought of the idea! I put some cinnamon sticks in a cool bottle I had and topped it off with some cheap vodka I had on hand from making vanilla extract and I sealed it up and waited to see what happened. In just a couple days the extract was already brown, and smelled DIVINE! I poured a splash into a latte and it TASTED divine too! It didn’t have the slightest smell or taste of vodka, but just pure cinnamon smell and flavor. Awesome! And now I’m wondering if this will work with other whole spices too?!?! It’d be awesome to make a “pumpkin spice extract” by just doing this with all the pumpkin spices and using that in a latte? My wheels are turning! I may have an experiment on my hands. 🙂
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So here’s the simplest recipe ever:
Take some cinnamon sticks.. (I bought these!) and put them in a cool recycled bottle or mason jar. Top it off with vodka. Wait a few days and shake occasionally. When liquid is brown and smells good, you can use it! I don’t have measurements because I don’t think it matters too much! Just guestimate. If after a few days its still too weak, add some more cinnamon sticks, and just top it off with vodka as it gets low. You’ll be able to tell when you think you need to add another cinnamon stick or replace the ones in there. I think cinnamon sticks will last a REALLY long time though! I guess I’ll find out as I continue to use mine!
Ways I’ve used my cinnamon extract:
-In coffee or lattes (This is the main way I use them. Its so good! Adding a dash of this and a dash of vanilla to a coffee or latte makes it taste almost sweet without needing any sugar! I’m also used to drinking coffee without sugar so maybe that’s why.)
-In recipes calling for cinnamon (I used some in cobbler with actual ground cinnamon too! It was really good.)
That’s about all I can think of! What ideas do you have for using cinnamon extract? Do you think this method of making extract would work with other whole spices?? Let me know what you think in the comments!