TracyLH Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 1:12pm
post #1 of

I am pondering trying another vanilla extract as I saw good reviews for Penny's Sugar Cookie recipe and it calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Ouch! I have been using McCormick pure vanilla extract, but am I am wondering what you all like. I have seen the large bottles of extract at Cost-Co, but am nervous to try it. Any thoughts on what you like?

99 replies
shiney Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 3:11pm
post #2 of

Tracy, I use the large bottles of vanilla from Sams in my cookies. in my icing I use McCormick clear vanilla. I am very happy with the flavors in both. I'd be interested to know if you try something else and prefer the taste. Now, one batch of my cookies uses three teaspoons, that makes probably about 15 medium sized cookies.

TracyLH Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:43pm
post #3 of

Thanks, Shiney! Alas, no Sam's Club here. I just left our local cake store and asked the owner what she uses and she only uses the really good Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla (the kind at Williams-Sonoma), but I just can't swing that cost wise in my cookies. A customer said to try the Kirkland brand (Cost-Co) Madagascar vanilla, but I am hoping someone can give the thumbs up or down on it. I don't want to sacrifice taste, but with the cost of vanilla, I thought I'd see what everyone is doing. Thanks for responding, Shiney!

shiney Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:46pm
post #4 of

Ah, Tracy, I'll watch this space and see what folks have to say about it.
Shiney

shiney Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:47pm
post #5 of

Ah, Tracy, I'll watch this space and see what folks have to say about it.
Shiney

nickshalfpint Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:52pm
post #6 of

I use the one from costco and I love it. I thought it was going to be way too much vanilla, but I was wrong. I didn't realize how much vanilla I go through in a month.

SweetDreamsAT Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:53pm
post #7 of

I have always used the Costco brand vanilla in my cookies and icing. I always meant to buy some of the fancy stuff, just to compare, but since I'm happy with the Costco brand I never got around to it. And I'm definitely very happy with the price icon_biggrin.gif. But I would love to hear other people's input too to see if its worth getting the fancier stuff.

jessfmaldonado Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:54pm
post #8 of

neilson-massey vanilla is soooo good. If you go to www.surfas.com they have the best price of vanilla around. The absolutely best vanilla is homemade vanilla using vanilla beans and vodka. The BEST!!!! A great website about all things vanilla is www.vanillareview.com.

HTH
Jessica icon_biggrin.gif

sweetsbyJ Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:55pm
post #9 of

I use the one from BJ's (Berkely & Jensen) so far I've had no issues with it..its a great price for the amount that you get.

messy_chef Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:02pm

I use the BJ's brand, too- $6.99/16 oz.

babybundt Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:29pm

i use the costco brand. it is 100% pure madagascar bourbon vanilla. the price is great ...........

b-radz Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:31pm

I use the Watkins Double Strength, it contains less alcohol than other brands so the flavor doesn't bake out. It is a awesome mellow flavor. I also use their clear vanilla for times when I need clear, it is great as well!

Homemade-Goodies Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:32pm

I've been beholden to whoever (whomever?) I can get to bring back some vanilla extract from the States for me. Last stash I got was the Neilson-Massey brand, that I'd never heard of, and it was really nice!

But to do away with the necessity of troubling every man, woman and child I know coming back from the US, I've begun with making my own brew. I cannot use it yet, but I can't wait!!!

The cost of making it isn't necessarily cheaper, I think, but it will give me a better supply. This is the recipe I bonjovibabe shared with me:

750ml bottle of vodka and steep 18 split fresh vanilla pods for at least 4 months (the longer the better really).

I'll report back how it turns out. icon_biggrin.gif

Honeydukes Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 7:54pm

I use Mexican vanilla that I get from a local spice store -- love it! I don't shop at Costco, but I might get someone to pick me up a bottle since so many have had good results.

I'd like to try the Watkins brand. Every Christmas the BH&G cookie magazine has an ad for a free sample. I forget to call about it, but I think I'll write it on my calendar this year.

I have a couple of bottles of the Nielsen-Massey vanilla, but I don't know what to think about it. It has an odd smell -- very, very strong alcohol. I thought it might be old or something so I took it back. This store is a high-end grocery with a good turnover. They were happy to replace my bottle, but it has the same smell. Guess I'm just used to mine. Now I don't know what to do with it.

Honeydukes Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 8:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade-Goodies

I've been beholden to whoever (whomever?) I can get to bring back some vanilla extract from the States for me. Last stash I got was the Neilson-Massey brand, that I'd never heard of, and it was really nice! ...




I found this information on the NMV website:
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas International, LLC.
Uranusweg 10
8938 AJ Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Telephone:31 58 28 82 880
Fax: 31 58 28 00 288

Contact them and see if/ where it's available for purchase. icon_smile.gif

Homemade-Goodies Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 10:52pm

LOL How funny are you!! I never dreamed they were possibly available over here, so never looked! You can only find vanilla flavored sugar or 'aroma' here...never seen real vanilla ever. icon_biggrin.gif

Cool - I'll give them a call tomorrow! Thanks!!

jackmo Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:19pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessfmaldonado

neilson-massey vanilla is soooo good. If you go to www.surfas.com they have the best price of vanilla around. The absolutely best vanilla is homemade vanilla using vanilla beans and vodka. The BEST!!!! A great website about all things vanilla is www.vanillareview.com.

HTH
Jessica icon_biggrin.gif




yes, definately. I too. use 90 proof vodka and vanilla beans. all you do is split the beans open and insert in the bottle of vodka and let marinate for about a month or two. saves money too!

pbeckwith Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:29pm

I make my own too! Vodka for most recipes but I made some with bourbon and use that with the chocolate and caramel recipes.

ceshell Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:30pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessfmaldonado

neilson-massey vanilla is soooo good. If you go to www.surfas.com they have the best price of vanilla around.



I'll second that. https://www.surfasonline.com/products/6740.cfm A 32-oz bottle of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is only $24 plus shipping. With shipping it still works out to less then a dollar an ounce! icon_eek.gifthumbs_up.gif

By the way this is the same stuff they sell at Williams Sonoma for only 8oz for $19 icon_surprised.gif Yes you heard me, 1/4 of the quantity for almost the same $$.

Buy it at Surfas, it's cheaper than supermarket vanilla!!

Jopalis Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 11:46pm

Some one told me there is a good one at Trader Joes...??

ceshell Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:03am

I used to use TJ's before I discovered the NM at Surfa's. I think TJ's was...$4 for 4oz?? I don't know if I am remembering that correctly. I know it was roughly the same price as NM but not nearly as good. The ironic thing was figuring out when to use up my TJ's vanilla, as technically it wasn't as good but I felt it was almost more "special" since it actually cost more LOL.

(Of course if you are in Los Angeles the NM vanilla is ridiculously cheap since you don't pay shipping...comes to 80cents an ounce with tax included.)

Jopalis Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:09am

I am in Los Angeles County... up north in the burbs. Do you mean to go to surfas for the NM? Thanks...

CESHELL... Just realized we have talked before. We were going to try to get together at Portos but I don't think it worked out for you.... We'll have to try again. I am closer to Valencia.... Pat

CakesByLJ Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceshell

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessfmaldonado

neilson-massey vanilla is soooo good. If you go to www.surfas.com they have the best price of vanilla around.


I'll second that. https://www.surfasonline.com/products/6740.cfm A 32-oz bottle of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is only $24 plus shipping. With shipping it still works out to less then a dollar an ounce! icon_eek.gifthumbs_up.gif

By the way this is the same stuff they sell at Williams Sonoma for only 8oz for $19 icon_surprised.gif Yes you heard me, 1/4 of the quantity for almost the same $$.

Buy it at Surfas, it's cheaper than supermarket vanilla!!




WOW, that is a great deal... I just ordered some...... thanks y'all icon_biggrin.gif

CakesByLJ Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:16am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceshell

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessfmaldonado

neilson-massey vanilla is soooo good. If you go to www.surfas.com they have the best price of vanilla around.


I'll second that. https://www.surfasonline.com/products/6740.cfm A 32-oz bottle of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is only $24 plus shipping. With shipping it still works out to less then a dollar an ounce! icon_eek.gifthumbs_up.gif

By the way this is the same stuff they sell at Williams Sonoma for only 8oz for $19 icon_surprised.gif Yes you heard me, 1/4 of the quantity for almost the same $$.

Buy it at Surfas, it's cheaper than supermarket vanilla!!




WOW, that is a great deal... I just ordered some...... thanks y'all icon_biggrin.gif

Jopalis Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:17am

But if Costco's is 100% pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla then why NM? Just wondering...

ceshell Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:27am

I do mean Surfas for the NM vanilla but in your case it would cost you more in gas than it would cost to pay them shipping.

But if you plan to be in the area (Culver City) it's soooo...worth stopping in...It's a chef's heaven (and I'm not even a chef). Although it is not a cake decorating supply shop, they have a lot of supplies and a lot of food-related items eg. bulk chocolates, flavoring extracts and oils, etc. Then there's the cake pans, cutters, and all sorts of random stuff I can't even begin to list. That still leaves the rest of the store and its restaurant supplies, including the food section: jams and jellies and oils and vinegars and gourmet pantry products, frozen section, I go there from time to time just to window shop and dream! >>sorry everyone else, a little OT here<<<

(ps I don't think that was me but there is at least one other LA CCer with a similar name to mine icon_smile.gif)

Jopalis: I have not tried the Costco vanilla, I would be interested to know how it stacks up against the NM but I would be surprised if it is as good. As with every type of product, quality differs from manufacturer to manufacturer and oftentimes you really do get what you pay for. According to the NM website (Ok I realize this is a marketing blurb) "Q: Does all vanilla taste the same? A: No, taste depends on a number of factors. The country of origin of the vanilla beans, maturity of the beans when picked, curing method used of the beans and the extraction method used to produce the extract all will influence the final flavor profile."

Jopalis Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:40am

you're right... it was cshelz...

I want to go there..... Might be worth the trip for the fun factor too....

thanks...

OH...btw.... do you need a vendors license to shop there? Thx...

snarkybaker Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 1:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by b-radz

I use the Watkins Double Strength, it contains less alcohol than other brands so the flavor doesn't bake out. It is a awesome mellow flavor. I also use their clear vanilla for times when I need clear, it is great as well!




I am sorry to break this to you, but that is just marketing BS. All pure vanilla extract must be 35% alcohol. That is it's legal definition. Vanilla has many flavor compunds that are only transportable to your tasting mechanisms ( tongue and nasal cavaties) in alcohol, so vanilla extract with less alcohol would 1, not be vanilla extract, and two would taste less like vanilla.

Clear Vanilla is not vanilla at all, it is wood chips steeped in alcohol.

And for an answer to the original question. I have my own Vanilla blend. It has Madagascar, Tahitian and Mexican Beans in it. It's so good it makes the angels weep...and I get it for a song.

Jopalis Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 1:16am

OK txcat..... spill your vanilla beans... Where do you get that song? LOL! thanks for the education. Although now I feel bad using clear vanilla... yuckkkkkk....

snarkybaker Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 1:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopalis

OK txcat..... spill your vanilla beans... Where do you get that song? LOL! thanks for the education. Although now I feel bad using clear vanilla... yuckkkkkk....




There is a company in New Jersey that blends it for me, as well as a pure cocoa extract ( excellent for getting blood red red velvet cake) I only pay about $54 a gallon for a 100% pure extract 2X vanilla, but I buy 12 gallons at a time.

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