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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Vanilla extract...facts and make your own recipe!

There are two different types of vanilla extract: pure and imitation. I highly recommend the pure variety as it provides a better flavor.
Here are a few facts about vanilla you may find interesting:
  • It is the most expensive spice in the world: saffron, taking the #1 spot.
  • The flower that produces vanilla only stays in bloom for 1 day.
  • Vanilla is a member of the orchid family.
  • After being picked, vanilla beans go through 4 to 6 weeks of processing.
  • Vanilla that does not contain alcohol is not Pure Vanilla Extract. This is what is referred to as vanilla flavor or imitation vanilla (clear in color).
  • Vanilla extract is a light shade of amber. If it is darker, it contains caramel coloring. 
You can always buy vanilla extract from the grocery store or local spice shop. However, you can also make your own! Here is a super easy recipe for you to try. Baking season is upon us, so now would be an ideal time for you to make a batch or two.

Vanilla Extract Recipe
  • 2 vanilla beans, cut in half lengthwise then chopped
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup water
Combine ingredients in a 1/2 pint glass jar.
Allow to steep for at least 3 days.
Drain and store in a cool dark place or in fridge.

A great place to buy pure vanilla extract and spices in Raleigh, NC is: The Savory Spice Shop 

A few of my baking recipes that call for vanilla:

3 Oatmeal Cookie Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Turnovers

Hot Vanilla and Easy Coffee Recipes

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