Y’all, I’m going to change your baking life today.
Now, you may not think you have a baking life, so I’ll also say that if you’ve ever used vanilla extract in a recipe, today’s post will change you forever.
Back when I was running the cooking studio and teaching cooking classes full time, I converted many a home cook to vanilla bean paste and, years later, I’m still doing it.
If you’ve ever seen or made any of my sweets recipes, you know that two ingredients are almost always present and I never skimp on them. Those two ingredients are vanilla bean paste and cinnamon. I love the flavor the two ingredients bring and I even add them to most sweet recipes no matter if the ingredients list call them or not. Yes, my obsession is strong.
Now, you might be asking yourself, what the heck is vanilla bean paste? Let me tell you!
It’s amazingness in a bottle. It’s thicker than extract so there’s no worry about it thinning out batters and it adds the BEST vanilla flavor to your sweets (and drinks). I love the smell of vanilla extract, but I tasted it once on its own and it wasn’t as lovely as its scent. Vanilla bean paste on the other hand, smells so good and tastes even better. I think it has a more true vanilla flavor to it aaaaaaaaaaaand possibly the biggest bonus is that it brings with it beautiful vanilla bean flecks. Vanilla beans on their own can get expensive, so vanilla bean paste is a great economical option to purchasing beans – especially if you use whole vanilla beans often. Since vanilla is one of my favorite flavors, seeing those gorgeous and impressive flecks in a dessert, gets me excited to taste it, so using vanilla bean paste in every lighter color dish I bake is an absolute MUST.
I have seen a few vanilla bean pastes on the market, but my favorite is one made by Nielsen-Massey. I buy it by the giant jug on Amazon, but you can also buy small four-ounce jars at stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table.
If you try it, and like me, you decide to substitute it for vanilla extract in your baking, use the same amount as you would extract. Additionally, one tablespoon of paste is equal to one vanilla bean. And to be totally real, I love vanilla bean paste so much, sometimes I add even a little bit more than what any recipe calls for 🙂
I test all of my recipes with vanilla bean paste, and I know what’s you start using it, you won’t turn back!
This post was not sponsored by Nielsen-Massey. I just love love love their product and wanted to share it with you!