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How to Use Up a Heck of a Lot of Extracts

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It's a tale as old as vanilla extract: You buy a bottle of it (or of almond, or anise, or any other kind of extract), it gets shuffled to the back of your pantry shelf, and then you buy another.

And before you know it, in a fervent pantry clean out session, you uncover an extract windfall. And then what do you do? Food52-er sweetlolo found herself in just such a scenario over on the Hotline.

Artisan Extracts Set

Artisan Extracts Set

Extracts, Made from Scratch

Extracts, Made from Scratch by erin e k


Here are a couple of ideas for putting it all to good use:

  • QueenSashy and GarlicFiend like it in hot drinks—like tea, coffee, and hot chocolate (maybe even hot chocolate topped with extract-spiked whipped cream).
  • You can also add a couple of drops to your morning smoothie—or your 5 o'clock cocktail.
  • Coco et Cocoa recommends using it in nearly any baked good, from sugar cookies and pound cakes to chocolate cakes and pies. Cherry pie with almond extract is a particularly tasty (and classic) pairing. (She also recommends using it for Chinese almond tofu, a sweetened tofu dessert!)
  • Add a bit to a batch of jam, marmalade, or curd. Think lemon-vanilla curd, cherry-almond jam, or orange-vanilla marmalade.
  • ...Or stop a few steps short of jam and make an aromatic compote by stewing fruit with a splash of extract. Then serve it (warm!) over yogurt or ice cream.
Photo by James Ransom
  • Add a few drops of extract to pancakes, waffles, the custard for French toast, or even your weekday-morning oatmeal.
  • Or let it add extra nuance to rice (or bread) pudding!
  • Make your own marzipan, recommends Emily Love. And then gift it!
  • Amysarah and drbabs both recommend sharing the wealth, since just a little bit of extract goes a long way! Though if you're not in a rush to clear some pantry space, extracts will last quite a long time.

How would you use up an extract surplus? Share your ways in the comments.

Tags: extract, almond extract, vanilla extract