Vanilla is Vanilla, or is it?
By: Mrs. Kay, Mrs. Kay’s Sweet Treats
There are many types of Vanilla to choose from when you’re at the grocery store. It can be over whelming because after all, aren’t they all the same? You have Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans and Vanilla Bean Paste. First it is important to know the difference so you can make the right choice for your baked sweets.
Vanilla extract is a “watered down” version of Vanilla. It is often diluted with water and alcohol. Vanilla Beans are an actual bean which are dark in color and about the size of a green bean. Vanilla bean paste is the inside of the vanilla bean which has been scraped out and is at is most purest form.
Vanilla extract is easy to use and to find. It is the least expensive of the three choices. You will sacrifice flavor using the extract and need to be ok with the additional ingredients. Vanilla beans have many uses.
They are a little more difficult to find and cost a smidge more. You take a whole bean, place it in a warm oven for about 5-10 minutes then very carefully scrape the inside out and put aside to use. The shell of the bean you can place in your sugar container and it will give your sugar an aromatic scent. Lastly, Vanilla bean paste is the easiest to use and the most expensive and hardest to find. All the hard work has been done for you without the sacrifice of flavor or scent. You simply measure out what you need and that is it.
I prefer to use Vanilla Beans and Vanilla Paste. They give the best flavor and scent, worth every penny. For example, when you try a Mrs. Kay Biscotti, you will not only smell the vanilla but you will also see little tiny specks of the vanilla bean. Ask your favorite bakery which type they use next time you are craving a sweet treat. The answer may surprise you.
Until next time, have a sweet day!