The Best Vanilla Extract Substitute Is Probably Hiding in Your Kitchen

No vanilla, no problem.

11/28/2020 3:55:00 PM

No vanilla, no problem.

Lookin' at you, cake batter.

on the beans’ price spike following a cyclone in Madagascar, the world’s leading producer of the ingredient.) You know how buying in bulk saves you money? Go into your kitchen and find the vanilla extract. Now find the bourbon. Which bottle is bigger? Seems silly, right? The price difference does, too: Most vanilla extract you’ll find in a supermarket costs between $2.50 and $6 per ounce. A mid-shelf bourbon, on the other hand, would cost less than a $1 per ounce.

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Join The ConversationTop Comment:“Bourbon is not involved - in case you're thinking of bourbon vanilla, that's named for the region it was from, not for the alcohol. ”— Ann S.CommentHere are the rules:Use a dark alcohol with a distinct personality. My go-to spirits are dark rum, bourbon, and brandy. You can use whichever brand you have on hand—no need to use something fancy, here. (If you have none of the above, you could try almond extract or maple syrup, too.)

Simply swap out the vanilla extract and replace with 1 to 2 times that amount in alcohol. Example: If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, replace with 1 to 2 teaspoons dark rum. (If you go the almond extract route, halve the amount of vanilla—so for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, swap in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.)

And that's it! Now give it a whirl. Here are some recipes and the alcohols you can sub in for vanilla extract. Even better than the original? You tell me.Swap in Dark RumDark rum is an obvious choice for a vanilla extract substitute. It’s smoky-sweet, a little spicy, and loves to be paired with both rich and tart flavors (this is why piña coladas are

sogood!). Speaking of which, when thinking of how best to swap vanilla for booze, why not keep in mind the flavors that shine in a rum-based cocktail? Try dark rum instead of vanilla in these treats, which lean into rich coconut, warming spices, and floral fruit:

Padma Lakshmi's Clouds of Cardamom & Cashew CookiesThese buttery, crumbly cookies are made with rich ground cashews and cardamom.Padma Lakshmi's Clouds of Cardamom & Cashew CookiesViolet’s Pineapple-Coconut CakeThis super-moist, sweet cake has crushed pineapple in the batter and is coated in a sticky caramel frosting.

Violet’s Pineapple-Coconut CakeMango-Lime Trifle with Brown Butter CakePair zingy mango-lime puree with thick pastry cream, whipped cream, and a nutty brown butter cake—it’s a dessert fit for any season.Mango-Lime Trifle with Brown Butter CakeSwap in Bourbon

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Bourbon swapped in for vanilla is another easy solution. Many actually describe vanilla as a primary flavor in the sweet spirit. Caramel, maple, chocolate, and butterscotch are other notes people pick up on in bourbon, so it would only make sense for it to shine when splashed into recipes featuring those ingredients. Ditch the vanilla and try bourbon in these desserts (you won’t be sorry):

Brown Butter BlondiesBrown Butter BlondiesTeddie's Apple Cake Read more: Food52 »

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sin vainilla no es lo mismo...