I was in a baking bind Sunday morning while concocting my brown sugar cinnamon scones. Typically, I gather all of my ingredients first, but my kitchen is always fully stocked that it did not cross my mind that I might be missing ingredients. While I set aside all my dry ingredients in a bowl and gathered my wet ingredients, I found I was all out of vanilla extract. What was I to do??? No choice, but to improvise as I had no time to hit the grocery store. Luckily, I had some almond extract in my pantry. I know it was a risk, but I used the almond extract as a substitute and they they came out delicious!!! The aroma was pleasantly intoxicating and the flavor was more complex than if I had used vanilla. This was definitely a winner! Next time I make these scones, I will purposely substitute almond extract for vanilla extract. Thank goodness for almond extract and baking substitutes!
If you ever find yourself in a bind like I did, another great substitute can be rum and other flavored extracts. You will, of course, have to use your judgement. Ever tried coconut extract in white chocolate chip cookies? I have and they are FANTASTIC! In some cases, you can almost do without the vanilla flavoring. Some people, like my brother, find vanilla overwhelming and I do have to omit vanilla in the desserts he likes. If you have any ideas or substitutes for vanilla, do let me know. I would love to hear your ideas! Happy Baking.