I was hoping someone might know of where to buy good quality vanilla beans at a good price. I have tried some here and there and have not had much luck and am not sure if I need to bite the bullet and get them from Penzey's. Before investing further, I thought perhaps someone might have an idea. Thanks for any help you can provide!
I bought mine from Vanilla Products USA on ebay: http://stores.ebay.com/Vanilla-Products-USA_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZQ2d999QQftidZ2QQtZkm
The beans were plump, and fragrant. The extracts I've made with them are heavenly!
we went to www.organic-vanilla.com and bought a 1lb. bag of Tahitian beans that are an average of 6"-7". We read that these are the best to make extract with. One bag cost $28! That's a huge savings compared to $4-$6 per bean at the grocery
*edited to add that the bag came with 115++ beans
JRMushroom 14.95 no shipping for a large quantity. (19-20 beans I think!)
jrmushroom 16 madagascar bourbon beans for 14.95 no shipping cost!
I buy larger quantities sometimes too.
(wanted to correct previous post info. sorry)
Thanks! Should I use Tahitian or Madagascar? I am looking to use the beans in Vanilla Sugar Cookies and use the pods to flavor sugar over a couple of weeks or longer to give the cookies more flavor. Thanks so much for your help!
Madagascar is more like the extract you get in the store, Tahitian is lighter and more floral in smell and taste.
Here is an old thread, and if I remember correctly there was discussion on the different types of vanilla:
The Great Vanilla Debate: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-583550.html
Thankyou, Lanibird! I had not seen that one!!!
Tracy, I bought some Rodelle Bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans at Costco. Each package contained two tubes - each tube has 5 vanilla beans in them. I think it was about $10.00. I know that Costco doesn't always carry the same items, but I saw them as recently as last week. They were in the spice area.
I have read in two threads today you meantioned making Vanilla Sugar Cookies. by any chance, would you share your recipe? I this the recipe you are modifying for the lemon sugar cookies, or are you using the cream cheese sugar cookie recipe and modifying it for the lemon?
Hi Kyoung24 - Oh, I don't have the recipe down yet at all. I am in the 'gathering information stage' and doing a lot of research in other places besides CC. I have a lot of work to do, testing different ideas (making vanilla sugar, lemon sugar, etc). As I am nowhere close to being done, if you need a sugar cookie recipe, I would suggest the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe here on CC for now. Just up the vanilla a bit (about a tsp. more) and I like to use Madagascar Pure Vanilla extract. For now, I use the Kirkland brand from Cost-Co after I found I preferred it over the Nielsen-Massey, which surprised me. I hear fantastic things about the Penzey's double strength though.
At this point I am hearing that the cream cheese recipe is a bit fragile. As I ship my cookies often, I don't think I will play with this one quite yet. My plan is to play with basically the same ingredients as the NFSC, just looking at the brand of extracts, possibly adding lemon oil to the Lemon recipe and zest, as well as the sugars mentioned above. It takes me a long time to develop recipes as I do a lot of testing (which my family is very happy about .)
Sorry I don't have anything yet at this point! I would keep an eye on the other posting as people have some great ideas. I just saw that Win just posted a great one using a combination of lemon and orange extract! Here is the link, if you need it:
TracyLH -- Thank you so much for all your help. I have been following the thread on the Lemon cookie today also. I look forward to trying these ideas out as well. Good luck with all your testing. I look forward to hearing what the family likes the best!
Sorry, this doesn't actually answer your question, but have you tried Nielsen Massey's Vanilla Bean Paste? You use it just like extract, but it contains the actual vanilla bean seeds in it, so it's great for where you want to see it like creme brulee, buttercream, ice cream, etc. I use it in place of beans all the time.
Timhenk - You read my mind! I was just working on researching that! I have only used that in creme brulee and ice cream, but was wondering how it might do in cookies! With all the research on beans themselves, extracts (regular/double-strength), flavoring the sugar and now vanilla bean paste, I should be able to up the flavor a bit! Thanks for putting this idea out there!