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Vanilla extract substitutes?

Vanilla extract is so expensive right now and I don't use nearly enough to justify buying a whole jar of it. Has anyone found any suitable substitutes (besides vanillin--blech!) for it in baked goods?

asked by Alyssa 18 days ago

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9 answers 187 views
Smaug
added 18 days ago

Not in a general sense- other than more expensive forms of vanilla. Some recipes you can rebalance using things like almond extract, rum, lemon oil, but it's usually going to be a fairly radical departure, it's between you and your conscience. How much are they charging, anyway? I buy the giant bottle at Cosco and don't have to do it very often; when I'm feeling extravagant I use vanilla paste, which I expect to pay through the nose for.

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Alyssa
added 18 days ago

It's about $20 on sale for organic vanilla at my co-op. Not something I want to pay for just to have some chocolate chip cookies every once in a while.

Smaug
added 18 days ago

You can do better than that on Amazon, though you always pay a lot for small quantities. It does keep quite well.

Nancy
Nancy

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added 18 days ago

Some options.
1) If you use so little, buy the real thing. It keeps up to 4 year in pantry.
2) omit. Sometimes you won't (much) notice it's missing.
3) make homemade from vanilla beans steeped in vodka or brandy.

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PieceOfLayerCake
PieceOfLayerCake

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added 18 days ago

In my opinion....nothing replaces real vanilla....and chocolate chip cookies aren't nearly the same without it.

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butter, sugar, flowers
added 18 days ago

Dark rum!

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HalfPint
HalfPint

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added 18 days ago

Good vanilla extract is available for less than $20. Like Smaug posted, sites like Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy have vanilla extract for less than that. I would also suggest buying a couple of vanilla beans and steeping them in some rum or vodka. I've been doing this for the last 10 years. The process is dead simple: drop beans into alcohol and let steep for 3-4 weeks. The extract lasts almost indefinitely and I simply replenish either the beans and/or the alcohol. I don't even remember the last time I bought vanilla extract. I bought about 1lb of vanilla beans for $15 a few years ago from Ebay which I am still using up today (yeah I went a little overboard because the price was so good).

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Smaug
added 17 days ago

One more- Bourbon vanilla extract $8 for 4 oz. ( that's a lot of cookies). They also have something called (I think) vanilla flavoring, which from a brief glance at the ingredients seems to be vanilla extract with sugar- Lord knows why- but it is real vanilla.

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Smaug
added 17 days ago

sorry, that's at Trader Joe's

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