Thursday, August 21, 2008

Favorite Things - Vanilla Bean Paste

A couple of you have asked me about vanilla bean paste, which is called for in a number of my recipes. I love this stuff. I don't even keep vanilla extract in the house anymore. This paste has a much more intense vanilla flavor without quite as much of the alcohol flavor of extract. I was first introduced to it by someone who kept a huge jug of it in her fridge to use in everything. I bought a small bottle the first time I saw it at my local gourmet shop and have since graduated to the jug. I mix this into yogurt, use it in all baked goods and make killer homemade vanilla ice cream with it. You'll even get the specks of vanilla you would get from scraping seeds out of a vanilla bean in the ice cream since this is made up of actual vanilla seeds suspended in an ooey gooey delicious paste. Try it. It's yummy. More information can be found here. Enjoy!

11 comments:

rachel said...

hmmmm...interesting idea. I use vanilla extract all the time- so much so that I buy a new bottle every week or two. Do you use less paste in a recipe- because the flavor is so concentrated? Thanks for the heads up

Apples and Butter said...

Hi Rachel!
I actually end up using more, because without such a strong alcohol taste, I find that recipes can handle more of the vanilla. When I'm making cookies, I just pour a bunch into the mixer without even measuring. I'm sure some would find it a little overboard, but I just love it!
Jessica

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I have seen the paste and always wanted to try it! Thanks for the review! I will be sure to pick up some the next time I see it.

Alexa said...

I love learning about new ingredients. I'll have to look into this one next time I am in my gourmet store. It sounds really good.

Michele said...

Nielsen-Massey makes the BEST vanillas...I've never heard of the paste...but I must have some now! I'm already thinking up different things to do with it.

Deborah Dowd said...

I have never seen vanilla bean paste, but i can see where it would be greatas an ingredient. I wonder if Penzey's spices carries it?

Apples and Butter said...

Hi Deborah,

I checked out Penzey's and it looks like they have vanilla extract, vanilla beans and vanilla sugar, but no paste. There are some places it can be ordered online if you can't find it in a retail store. For instance here: http://www.kitchenclique.com/nm-bean.html (I haven't ordered from this place so I won't officially recommend it). Good luck and let me know what you think when you try it!

RebeccaC said...

OMG! OMG! OMG! I use this stuff ALL THE TIME! I love the little flecks it puts in frosting. Just wonderful.

Meg said...

If I was going to put the paste in a bowl of oatmeal, how much do you think would be an approprite amount? I am going to buy some paste soon!

Apples and Butter said...

Hi Meg! I would start with 1 tablespoon and go from there. It's great if you add a little bit of honey in at the same time. Let me know how it goes!

Kristen said...

I love a strong vanilla flavor. I'll have to give this a try!