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  • Mary Kay

Don't Skimp on Flavors, er, I mean EXTRACTS

This Holiday Season you'll probably be serving family and friends with meals and sweet treats, even taking sweets to special events. Be sure you don't skimp on the extracts!

Using what they call flavors in your baking just is not the same as using extracts. Sure they are cheaper in price, but remember that you usually get what you pay for. Cheaper prices can mean less flavor. I make a point to use extracts instead of flavorings in my baking, especially during the holidays. The sweet treats are so much better when you use extracts. Make this holiday season extra special by using full flavored EXTRACTS. You will not be disappointed.

I even double up on the vanilla extract, especially in cookie recipes. For my chocolate chip cookies, I double the extract in order to enhance the chocolate from the chips. When using coffee extract in a cookie, cake or bars recipe, I'll cut back a little on the vanilla and double the coffee. Yum!!!

And, don't be afraid to use other extracts along with vanilla extract. For example, I'll use some vanilla extract in addition to a rum extract. Using a half teaspoon of vanilla extract in a single recipe along with the other extract will actually enhance that second extract. Try it for a subtle improvement in taste.

Vanilla extract is a good example: I always think about what I'm making before I automatically use the called for vanilla extract in my recipes, especially cookies and cakes. I like to try different flavors, not just stick with the tried and true. If the recipe has chocolate in it, I like to use a good boozy chocolate liqueur to enhance and strengthen the chocolate flavor. Or, use coffee and espresso with it to deepen the chocolate flavor. Maybe I'd like an island flavor like coconut to enhance a vanilla flavored recipe. Or, a rum to go with a sweeter cake recipe.

Yes, I do have some favorite brands...and they never include the store brands. I have been so disappointed with store brands that I steer completely clear of them, opting to utilize the tried and true brands. Sometimes I even find a unique extract in my travels to little riverside towns along the Mississippi River. Fun travels!

Whatever you are baking this Holiday Season, "Bake your own Memories!"

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