Most of the liquor stores in my area stock a wide variety of mini bottles of various spirits near the registers. I like the mini bottles because they give you a convenient way to taste a liquor without splurging on a whole bottle of it – and they often give you just the right amount to add a splash of flavor to a recipe. This little bottle of Kahlua French Vanilla caught my eye a few weeks back, and it has become a favorite in my pantry ever since.
Kahlua is a rum-based coffee liquor with a strong and sweet coffee flavor to it. A splash can be great in a cocktail, but I frequently use it to amp up the coffee flavor in a tiramisu or in a batch of mocha frosting. The french vanilla version is lightly coffee flavored with a strong vanilla overtone to it. When I first bought it, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use it, but I discovered that the vanilla note is strong enough that this can be used almost like vanilla extract. When added to a batch of frosting or even a simple sugar cookie recipe, it contributed a nice vanilla flavor and just a hint of rum and coffee that made the flavor a whole lot more interesting and was a nice change of pace from regular vanilla.
The mini bottles are convenient to use and I got quite a few uses from each one, adding anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of liquor to jazz up a recipe that ordinarily called for vanilla extract. It’s not going to replace my regular vanilla extract any time soon, but it is definitely going to be included in more than a few icing recipes now that I’ve discovered that a splash goes particularly well in cream cheese frosting.