Great baking starts with great ingredients. We’ve introduced you to some of our favorite chocolates and cocoa powders and have even offered the 10 most important tips for baking with chocolate. But there’s more to baking than chocolate.
And if you’re going to use baking as a way to say “I love you,” or even if you’re just baking because you love it, you want to get the best flavor from your baked goods. And that includes flavorings.
Almost every baking recipe calls for flavor extracts. That’s why we’re recommending what are, in our opinion, some of the best flavor extracts for baking from Nielsen-Massey.
The best vanilla extract
Can you think of a cake or cookie recipe that doesn’t involve vanilla? There isn’t a lot! Vanilla is one of the most important flavor extracts – and when you buy bad vanilla, it can ruin your baked goods.
We love Nielsen-Massey organic vanilla extracts. We have for years. It’s what they’re best known for, making great, natural vanilla extracts. But the vanilla specialists also have an entire line of flavored natural flavorings.
If you’re serious about baking, you’ve probably already discovered their baking extracts. We’ve tried several and we’re impressed with how these extracts develop flavor of baked goods and sweets.
The best flavor extracts for baking beyond vanilla
We love that the line of extracts is all-natural and the variety is broad. The flavored extracts include bottled essences of chocolate, coffee, almond, lemon, orange, peppermint, orange blossom water and rose water. There are also organic versions available of some of the flavor extracts, including peppermint, lemon, almond and orange extracts.
And although you can get extracts in many of these flavors at your average grocery store, the Nielsen-Massey extracts are truly a cut above. Each of their flavorings is made with premium botanicals and other high-grade ingredients.
The almond extract, one of our favorites in the line, makes a great example. It’s made from pure oil of bitter almond in a base of alcohol. (One thing that’s important to note: all of Nielsen-Massey’s natural flavorings use alcohol as their liquid base.)
Chocolate and coffee extracts
Other favorites in this line of natural extracts include pure chocolate and coffee. These flavorings give intensity and richness to ice creams, brownies and aphrodisiac cocktails.
Orange blossom and natural lemon extracts add a hint of citrus to both savory and sweet dishes. We can’t get enough of the lemon, which adds the fruit’s brightness without an acidic bite.
When to use flavor extracts for baking
Natural flavorings can be among a baker’s best tools. They can lend a subtle supporting flavor to most baked goods. For example, this recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies uses both vanilla and almond extracts to elevate the complexity and intensity of the cookie’s flavors.
But you don’t have to follow a recipe to enjoy the flavors of Nielsen-Massey’s extracts. Just pull out your favorite vanilla cake recipe and try layering the flavor with the essence of oranges. (Remember to start small when adding layers of flavor. Try half a teaspoon and see if the result is the robustness of flavoring you’re looking for.)
Add a hint of peppermint to your chocolate cake, turn your favorite chocolate buttercream into chocolate-coffee buttercream or bring a touch of the exotic by adding rosewater to your gingerbread.
Great flavor extracts are for more than baking
Don’t forget, there are other applications for high-quality flavor extracts beyond baking. We’ve always loved flavoring Champagne with a drop of Nielsen-Massey rose water.
Citrus extracts are also great in cocktails and mocktails. You can also use citrus extracts to flavor soups and marinades.
Peppermint extract can flavor teas and add a zing of flavor to summer fruit salads.
We were amused to learn that Nielsen-Massey was founded in 1907 to create aromas for cleaning products. About 10 years later, they added the manufacturing of vanilla products to their repertoire. And then in the early 2000s, this manufacturer with aromatics expertise created a whole line of baking extracts in the flavors they are known for today.
In other words, this is a brand with over 100 years of history in the business of aromatics and natural flavorings. And that expertise shows in the quality of their products. If you want to bake with better flavor, we couldn’t recommend a brand more highly to help you get where you want to go.
Love baking? Get these extracts!
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