Vanilla Beans.....Taking The Plunge - A.D.D. Foodie Blog at Allrecipes.com - 134056

A.D.D. Foodie

Vanilla Beans.....Taking the Plunge 
 
Nov. 1, 2009 5:48 am 
Updated: Nov. 3, 2009 8:58 am
Pure vanilla extract, imitation vanilla extract, double strength vanilla extract....all yummy and ready to add a boost of flavor.  I have held off on buying vanilla beans because I love vanilla, and it seemed like alot of work to split and scrape the bean for everything that I love it in...coffee, smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, fruit dip...you name it.  I have to admit, that the price really turned me off too.  Although, how I can spend $300.00 on a pair of boots and turn around and scoff at spending 10 dollars on a quality spice is beyond me.  Regardless, I am taking the plunge!  Vanilla bean, you are my new kitchen toy this week.

I bought two vanilla beans for $5.98...not too bad, they are big. Opening the jar I was greated with a very heady vanilla aroma...but also a slight chemical smell....maybe I will splurge and order some quality ones online instead of Walmart brand vanilla beans.  

First up....split one and add it to splenda container to make vanilla sugar.  A must have for my coffee.  This took about 3 days to get a solid vanilla flavor throughout the Splenda.....extremely good!  Much deeper and complex vanilla flavor than if I just added a splash of extract.  Vanilla beans found a home with just this one, since I do love my coffee.

Next up, baking.  I used it in swedish pancakes and vanilla pound cake.  I have to admit that the vanilla flavor was not as strong, but I think if I would have heated up the vanilla beans in the liquid and then scraped them in it would have been better...I will have to do that with baked goods I guess.  The small crunch of vanilla beans was very nice, the look of flecks of vanilla throughout were awesome.  

Verdict?  More complex vanilla flavor, and the smell cannot be beat. A new expensive kitchen staple that I will order online:)  I found 15 beans for $28 at Panzey's spice online, but they should last a long time! 

Vanilla Beans
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Comments
Nov. 1, 2009 8:20 am
We share a love of the vanilla bean. Penzey Spice has great vanilla beans and other spices! Have you tried making your own vanilla extract. I won't use anything else now, it was easy and is better then store bought. Enjoy!
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Homemade-Vanilla-Extract/Detail.aspx
 
Nov. 1, 2009 8:57 am
I make my own vanilla extract also. There is nothing more satisfying than smelling the warm, exciting, entoxicating, sensual vanilla bean.
 
Nov. 1, 2009 9:01 am
You got 2 vanilla beans for less then $6.00? That is a Great price!! You should have bought 4!! I, un like you, have not delved into the wonderful world of the Bean. I need to break into my oinky bank and just Do IT!! I love the splenda idea!! I knew about reg. sugar, now I know. Great blog!! thanks for sharing:)
 
Nov. 1, 2009 9:08 am
That is it!! I am asking Carlos to buy me some vanilla beans, so I can make my own! Those little bottles are Expensive!! Like you all did not know that! Thank You!!
 
Nov. 1, 2009 11:04 am
Thanks, guys, homemade vanilla extract is next on my list!! I found my first vanilla beans at walmart, today I am ordering from Panzeys:) My poor husband:)
 
Nov. 1, 2009 1:26 pm
Oh my goodness this sounds wonderful! I love vanilla too! If I come across a cake, cookie, or other dessert recipe that doesn't call for vanilla, I add some anyway just for my own pleasure. Haha!
 
Nov. 2, 2009 4:18 am
Sounds good, I've never tried buying vanilla beans, but I'd like to give it a try!
 
Nov. 2, 2009 12:52 pm
Do you just put the entire bean in the sugar and let it sit? What's the process for making vanilla sugar? I'd like to make some of that for my sister as a Christmas gift (she LOVES her vanilla coffee!) Thanks!
 
Nov. 2, 2009 6:26 pm
I just split the bean with a knife and put it in the container of sugar....shook it up once a day or so. When it is 1/2 way gone I add more. The container is just a small rubbermaid 2 cup container.
 
Nov. 3, 2009 8:58 am
My Bear ordered those beans for me and they should be arriving any day now, I can't wait!
 
 
 
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Heathercakes

Home Town
Seymour, Wisconsin, USA

Member Since
Jun. 2006

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
Oh, where to begin. I have been in the Army for 13 years, devoted wife and mother to three children, 16, 13, and 9. I have always loved cooking (and eating) since I was a teenager. My late Aunt Sherri is my biggest inspiration...I have many fond food memories of her...canning corn, making brunch after church, BBQ a whole turkey to name a few.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook everything! I will usually pick a new specialty/region once a month or so, make a ton of it, and save the best ones into my food rotations..whether special occasion or everyday meals. I don't think I could pick a favorite...I guess satisfaction wise, a nice loaf of homemade bread is hard to top...but then again, so is the perfect sauce and so on.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We have a few cooking traditions in our family. Weekends are for big pancake, waffle or diner breakfasts (homemade hashbrowns, eggs to order, meat, toast). Every weekend. Birthday cakes are homemade, the birthday honoree gets to pick the kind...it is almost always my chocolate layer cake..it takes like rich chocolate ice cream. Christmas time has lots of candies, cookies and chocolates being made, with gingerbread pancakes and spiced peaches with whipped cream for Christmas morning.
My cooking triumphs
I mastered tiramisu....I know it may seem easy, but it literally took me around 10 tasty attempts to get it to the point where I can whip up a pan full with confidence. Also, I have perfected (for us anyway) my pancake recipe:) Simple, but great. Mostly, I am proud to work full time and still put a tasty and healthy meal on the table for my family...even when the kids would rather have McDonalds:)
My cooking tragedies
The pressure cooker....broccoli cheese soup....it seemed so simple...and then when the steam was released, small burning hot broccoli bits flew about the kitchen....everywhere!!! Also, my first Thanksgiving I made pecan pie, well, it turned out perfect...until I cut into it warm and the middle was liquid...later in life I learned that it is like that out of the oven, you have to let it cool to gel up:)
 
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