Cut vanilla beans crosswise into thirds. Split each piece open lengthwise. Place pieces in jar. Cover with brandy. Seal tight and shake well. Let stand 3 weeks at room temperature, shaking jar several times a week. Open jar. Aroma should be very rich with vanilla. If not, allow to stand another week. Strain essence through a coffee filter and fill bottles leaving 1/2 inch head space. You may add one vanilla bean to each bottle of essence. Store in dark, cool place. Vanilla essence can be used in place of vanilla extract. To make extract, substitute vodka for brandy and allow liquid to mellow several months. Note: Use the finest brand of liquor and the best quality vanilla beans you can buy.
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