Holiday baking is right around the corner and it’s time to stock up on ingredients. Speaking of ingredients I found an affordable vanilla extract or VEX as my friend Chef Baker calls it.
You may already be aware of this well priced gem at Trader Joes but I was skeptical at first. It seemed too good to be true.
But it is good, really good. Finally I bought a bottle and tested it out. It worked fine in cookies and pound cake but the real test was vanilla ice cream. It passed - the vanilla flavor was clear and smooth.
Flavors are dulled in cold desserts so if the flavor comes through then the extract is good quality.
I am not totally giving up on my vanilla bean paste but with this good quality well priced extract it can be saved for times when we want the posh flecks - creme brulee comes to mind or a vanilla bean Chantilly cream. Speaking of paste, here is a tip - when it runs out I don’t wash the bottle but fill it with vanilla extract, screw on the top and shake - the vanilla pod (aka “cavier” of the vanilla) residue clinging to the side of the bottle will disperse into the extract.
For our everyday baking, in recipes that are full of other flavors and VEX is mainly a best supporting actor - this Trader Joes vanilla cannot be beat.
Stock up now because they sometimes run out of popular items. And no they are not paying me to tell you about their vanilla. I wish they were. One day I will be better at all that.
Store your vanilla extract in a cool dry cupboard. :
Happy Baking! Colette