What Is Your Preferred Vanilla Extract ?

Baking By sweetdreamzz Updated 3 Aug 2018 , 12:35am by cheriej

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sweetdreamzz Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 1:17am
post #1 of 33

i have been using Rodelle vanilla extract, does anyone have any experience using this or have a recommendation as to the best vanilla extract? 

32 replies
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Gerle Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 3:00am
post #2 of 33

I make my own.  I purchased on line several different types of vanilla beans - Tahitian, Tongan, Mexican, Madagascar Bourbon.  I use all of them and gave some as gifts one year for Christmas.  I've also made my own lemon extract.  It was fun, but took a bit of time.  I still have two large vodka bottles of it that need to be put into smaller bottles.  I personally find that the homemade has a stronger flavor than store bought.

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 1:58pm
post #3 of 33

i use sam's club vanilla-- kirkland or mccormack brand

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 1:59pm
post #4 of 33

i mean mccormick

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SandraSmiley Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 3:39pm
post #5 of 33

I love Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.  I buy it by the quart, which makes it far less expensive than small bottles of grocery store brands.  

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MBalaska Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 4:19pm
post #6 of 33

Madagascar bourbon

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theresaf Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 4:49pm
post #7 of 33

I use the Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla bean Paste

Is it my imagination or do the yummy flecks of vanilla make it yummier - well it's yummier to me! Either way that's what I use and I get it in the 32oz size which lasts me a long time.  I add some to boxed cake mixes as well

Vanilla has gotten crazy expensive!  

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Gerle Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 4:54pm
post #8 of 33

Yes, it has gotten expensive, that's why I started making my own.  I do, however, purchase the vanilla bean paste because I also like to use it.

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sweetdreamzz Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 5:07pm
post #9 of 33

is it truly cheaper to make it? its like 13$ for two bean pods here

Quote by @Gerle on 12 minutes agois

Yes, it has gotten expensive, that's why I started making my own.  I do, however, purchase the vanilla bean paste because I also like to use it.


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Gerle Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 5:24pm
post #10 of 33

I purchased the vanilla beans in bulk several years ago.  I still have them wrapped up tight in plastic and in some glass jars.  When I pull them out, they are still pliable and small fresh as the day I purchased them.  I believe the glass jars I have them stored in were also purchased from the vanilla company.  I ordered them from Beanilla and Vanilla Bean Products.  I haven't been online to see how much they cost any more, but like I said, this was about a year or so ago and I made so much I still have plenty and after checking around, I was told that it is still good, so I'm not worried about how much I have.  I think because I bought in quantity it was a cheaper than buying it like at a grocery store or something like that.

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Baker Beach Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 5:42pm
post #11 of 33

I like Penzey’s single strength. Used to use Kirkland’s— it was a Tahitian vanilla and was soooo good. Then they changed to something different and imo, it’s not nearly as good. After reading the comments here, I am really tempted to make my own!

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 5:53pm
post #12 of 33

read this for some very interesting vanilla taste testing results:

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/taste_tests/455-vanilla-extract

"Verdict: Real or Imitation Doesn't Really Matter for Baking

So what’s our conclusion? If you’re only buying one bottle of vanilla for cooking, baking, and making cold and creamy desserts, our top choice is a real extract.

If you only use vanilla for baking, we have to admit there’s not much difference between a well-made synthetic vanilla and the real thing."


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Gerle Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 6:15pm
post #13 of 33

I agree with that article, but when I make homemade ice cream, there's nothing like homemade, pure vanilla!  I do like the little bits of vanilla bean in the cookies and cakes though from real vanilla so I'll probably continue using it even though the flavor doesn't shine through that much.

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MBalaska Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 7:13pm
post #14 of 33

It might cook out in the cake a little, but it shines like the sun in your icings, and ice creams.  Can't beat good quality real vanilla.

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 9:28pm
post #15 of 33

I just find it fascinating how it bakes out of our goodies -- big bummer

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theresaf Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 9:34pm
post #16 of 33

I remember when I was young and my mom would be baking and the smell of vanilla -----aaaaah

I figured it must taste as good as it smelled. Luckily for me I didn't take a sip from the bottle (McCormick's at the time) but I tasted it with my finger --- so disappointing because it was disgusting to me!  ha that is a funny memory to me I can still picture it.  I'm pretty sure dinosaurs were still roaming the earth at the time it was so long ago!

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theresaf Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 9:34pm
post #17 of 33

I remember when I was young and my mom would be baking and the smell of vanilla -----aaaaah

I figured it must taste as good as it smelled. Luckily for me I didn't take a sip from the bottle (McCormick's at the time) but I tasted it with my finger --- so disappointing because it was disgusting to me!  ha that is a funny memory to me I can still picture it.  I'm pretty sure dinosaurs were still roaming the earth at the time it was so long ago!

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theresaf Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 9:34pm
post #18 of 33

I remember when I was young and my mom would be baking and the smell of vanilla -----aaaaah

I figured it must taste as good as it smelled. Luckily for me I didn't take a sip from the bottle (McCormick's at the time) but I tasted it with my finger --- so disappointing because it was disgusting to me!  ha that is a funny memory to me I can still picture it.  I'm pretty sure dinosaurs were still roaming the earth at the time it was so long ago!

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Gerle Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 9:36pm
post #19 of 33

I know.  You'd think if they're going to come up with such an ingredient for cooking/baking that is supposed to flavor our goodies that it's flavor would stay in the product we're baking, but I still think it does a little and still gives the cookies/cakes some flavor.

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Gerle Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 9:41pm
post #20 of 33

theresaf, it most certainly doesn't taste good straight from the bottle!  But it does make our goodies taste good!

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 10:35pm
post #21 of 33

that report says the extra nuances that we love in real vanilla bake out -- the vanilla flavor itself stays -- which is what you get with the imitation -- just the vanilla flavor -- I wish they mentioned the name of the superior imitation one they tried --

gerle -- but yes we have enjoyed the vanilla I made too -- vanilla sugar too -- does make for a pleasant gift -- then I skipped lemon extract and jumped right into limoncello -- hated it -- other peeps like it -- but no not me --

theresaf -- yeah my mom said not to try the vanilla even though the smell is intoxik8ing -- but my older brother told me mom said that so I wouldn't drink it all up... >gagh cough sputter<

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theresaf Posted 3 Mar 2018 , 11:00pm
post #22 of 33

Oops had no idea i somehow posted 3x - sorry all

And whether an older or a younger brother K8 - it seems their role is to talk their sisters into doing just what their mom told them not to do. But I had my share of turning the tables on one of my brothers as well.

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cakefan92 Posted 4 Mar 2018 , 3:25pm
post #23 of 33

A couple of years ago, I was over the moon when I found Nielsen Massey vanilla at a local store.  It was expensive, but I bought it anyway because so many people said it was the best.  I have never been so disappointed with anything (except my Dyson vacuum cleaner).  It smelled fine, but didn't add any vanilla flavor to my cakes.  The date was fine and it was perfectly sealed, but seemed so blah that I actually threw it out.

The absolute best vanilla flavoring I have ever used was powdered and it was fantastic.  I haven't been able to find it locally, but I can get it online.

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-K8memphis Posted 4 Mar 2018 , 3:27pm
post #24 of 33

love powdered vanilla -- I used to get powdered butter/vanilla from king arthur flour but they stopped making it -- it was unbelievable good

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-K8memphis Posted 4 Mar 2018 , 4:26pm
post #25 of 33

I often sprinkle it onto muffin tops with some cinnamon sugar too

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SandraSmiley Posted 4 Mar 2018 , 4:56pm
post #26 of 33

I've never seen or even heard of powdered vanilla!  Gonna look now.

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Gerle Posted 4 Mar 2018 , 5:05pm
post #27 of 33

I bought some powdered vanilla because I was curious about it and then forgot about it.  In going through my baking spice cabin the other day, I came across it.  Will have to see how to best use it.

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-K8memphis Posted 4 Mar 2018 , 5:57pm
post #28 of 33

it's also nice to use in store bought "chocolate" to enhance it -- the kind made from vegetable oil not cocoa butter -- makes it irresistible

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vmanbakes Posted 27 Jul 2018 , 8:20pm
post #29 of 33

with the price of vanilla extract still being high (36.99 at costco), I looked on amazon.com to see what they had and I found https://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Vanilla-Molina-Vainilla-Vanillin/dp/B0002QEL98/ MolinA mexican vanilla blend 16ounces for $9.99. Has anyone ever tried this brand.

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maybenot Posted 27 Jul 2018 , 10:44pm
post #30 of 33

The reason it's so cheap is because it has very little vanilla in it, but it has a lot of other stuff that I don't really want in my products....

Molina Original Mexican Vanilla Blend

Ingredients: Water, 2% Pure Vanilla Extract, 1.8% Ethyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Vanillin, Ethyl Vanillin, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate (As Preservative), Potassium Hydroxide (Acidity Regulator).

I either buy the good stuff or I make my own.  I've bought beans from Amazon and put them in the cheapest  gallon bottle of vodka I can find. 

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