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Old 03-29-2007, 07:31 AM   #1
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Question Alternatives for vanilla?

Hi, y'all -- I am overseas, and started craving my favorite cookies... and then discovered that vanilla extract is next to impossible to find here... is there such a thing as a substitute for vanilla? I've never heard of it, but I figure that it wouldn't hurt to ask!
Thanks,
k

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Old 03-29-2007, 07:51 AM   #2
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can`t you get hold the Vanilla Pods in the supermarket usualy around the herbs and spices section?
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:54 AM   #3
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I googled and this is what I found for you:

To make your own vanilla extract: Cut two fresh (moist and pliable) vanilla beans into small pieces and put them in a small, clean jar. Pour vodka, brandy, or light rum into the jar until the vanilla is completely covered. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid, allow the mixture to steep for about at least a month, then strain out the beans using cheesecloth or a coffee filter. The result won't be as strong as commercial extracts, so use more. Substitutes: vanilla powder (use half as much) OR vanilla bean (Extract the flavor by scraping out the seeds and putting them and the vanilla pod into a liquid that's used in the recipe and let it simmer awhile. When the liquid has been infused with vanilla flavor, remove the pod. One inch of fresh vanilla bean = one teaspoon extract. Use a longer piece of vanilla if it's not fresh.) OR imitation vanilla extract (This may be less potent than pure vanilla extract, so you may need to use more.) OR Kosher vanilla sugar (for Passover) OR vanilla-flavored liqueur (1 teaspoon extract = 1 tablespoon liqueur)

Alternatively, you can replace it with maple syrup.

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:03 AM   #4
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"Overseas" means where?

Surely there must be something vanilla... you can go either way if there is no "vanilla extract"...

As YT suggested, see if you can find the real vanilla bean pod, if not in a supermarket, at a shop specializes in spices. It takes a bit of effort and time to prepare, but the result is so worth it, the aroma is wonderful.

Or, if you prefer an easier way, there is "vanilla flavoured sugar" widely available in places like Germany, and very popularly used. It is usually sold in little packets like baking powders.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:13 AM   #5
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How 'bout vanilla liquor?
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:37 AM   #6
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You could use almond extract or omit the vanilla altogether. Here are some other suggestions:

Substitute for vanilla extract?

Have you tried ordering same on line.. i.e. Penzeys

Penzeys Spices Home Page
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Thumbs up wow, thanks for the info everyone!

Hello there! Thanks so much for all those wonderful suggestions -- I don't even know where to start -- yes, I CAN get whole vanilla pods, but I didn't know that I could make my own extract that way! And I am in Germany, actually, and I HAVE vanilla sugar in my kitchen at this very moment, but I didn't know I could just sub it -- sure, it makes sense to experiment, but I guess it just never occurred to me...
and the vanilla liqueur... good idea!
I am very grateful for all your replies! Thanks!
k
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:06 PM   #8
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if your recipe calls for Sugar, then use the Vanilla sugar instead, that way you`ll have the flave and scent in there as if you used extract.
there`s no way the recipe will "know" :)

you can even make your own vanilla sugar if you have the pods :)
the Extract requires a solvent though, something non polar, and Alcohol is ideal for this, the Stronger the better too ;)
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