Tag Archives: vanilla bean

How to scrape a vanilla bean

Scraped vanilla bean pod

Vanilla extract is the most popular way to add vanilla flavoring to anything that you are baking or cooking. It is easy to use and less expensive than using whole vanilla beans. Vanilla bean seeds give baked goods a fantastic look, however, and you just can’t beat the flavor that a real vanilla bean can add when making something where that flavor can really stand ... Read More »

What is Bourbon Vanilla?

Rodelle Bourbon Vanilla

Vanilla is one of the most important flavors in baking and we use both vanilla beans and vanilla extract in our recipes. When you see vanilla in the store, you probably notice that there are quite a few types of vanilla available. Sometimes, you’ll simply see plain old vanilla, but there is also Tahitian, Mexican and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla is the most ... Read More »

Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Petite Vanilla Bean Scones, up close

These mini scones were inspired by the pastry case at Starbucks, where they always have a tray of Petite Vanilla Bean Scones set out. These scones are very small, each less than 1/4 the size of their full sized counterparts, so they appeal to coffee lovers looking for a small (and inexpensive) sweet treat. I make scones at home on a regular basis, so I ... Read More »

Vanilla Bean Pudding

Vanilla Bean Pudding

There is something very comforting about about a bowl of homemade vanilla pudding. I ate it all the time as a kid – usually made from a handy box of pudding mix, which I could easily make myself – and still enjoy the way a bowl of pudding will bring a little happiness into my day now. These days, of course, I make my vanilla ... Read More »

What is vanilla extract?

Rodelle Vanilla Extracts

Vanilla is one of the most ubiquitous flavors in baking. Not only are there a wide variety of vanilla baked goods, but vanilla is in the vast majority of baking recipes regardless of the primary flavor in the cake/cookie/pastry in question. Vanilla beans are always an option when baking and cooking, but the beans can be quite expensive. Vanilla extract is the most common and ... Read More »

Cook’s Illustrated rates Vanilla Beans

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans can impart a much deeper and more complex vanilla flavor to a custard or other dessert than vanilla extract, but while any vanilla bean is better than none, not all vanilla beans offer the same flavors. They range in quality and price, and in a recent issue (July/Aug 2011) the test kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated set out to test five different brands of ... Read More »

How long do vanilla beans last?

Vanilla Beans in Sugar

Vanilla beans are a pricey ingredient prized by bakers and cooks because nothing imparts vanilla flavor like seeds scraped straight from a fresh vanilla pod. I usually have a few vanilla beans on hand and, like so many other deal-hunting bakers, I try to replenish my supply when I find a good deal on bulk vanilla beans (the holidays are a great time to stock ... Read More »

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

You’re probably used to seeing banana bread that is dark and dense looking, and often full of brown sugar and spices. Banana bread made like this is delicious, but as with all things, it never hurts to have a little variety in your recipe book. The last time I had a bunch of ripe bananas in the kitchen, I decided to give banana bread a ... Read More »

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