It’s been a month since I started my first batch of hazelnut extract. I tried the results this morning in my coffee. The hazelnut scent is strong, the taste is different from commercial hazelnut flavored coffee, but it is not unpleasant. Much of the flavor difference may be due to lack of added sweetener. Commercial hazelnut flavorings tend to have syrup bases made with sugar. I did not add any sugar or other sweetener to my extract or turn it into a syrup.
I altered the recipe from what was in the original blog posted Oct. 17. I drained off the alcohol part into a small saucepan, crushed the nuts completely, then added the nuts and 1/4 cup water to the alcohol mix. I simmered the mixture for about 10 minutes, allowing the alcohol to be evaporated off. When the steam coming from the mix no longer stung my nostrils with alcohol, I decided it was ready. Keeping the ingredients to a low, simmering boil allowed the alcohol to be removed without losing a lot of water content to steam. I drained off the liquid from the crushed nuts. The end result was about 1.25 cups of a cloudy, strongly hazelnut scented concoction.
I poured the extract into a glass container with a tight cover and am storing it in the fridge. Adding about 2 tablespoons to my 12 oz of coffee lightened with half and half produces a nice nutty flavor that is not bad at all.
The vanilla extract I made at the same time as the hazelnut continues to work and will be ready in about a month. The liquid has turned a very deep brown. I shake the bottle every few days and remove the lid to smell. The vanilla fragrance is already strong, so it will only improve with more time. I plan to heat the vanilla extract as well to evaporate the alcohol before using it.