It makes a difference

I knew that I loved my Penzeys Vanilla, but I did not know just how much it made a difference until this past week when I have spent most of my time baking. I have emptied almost two bottles of Penzeys Vanilla this week. The first was my bottle of Double Strength. The other is a bottle of Single Strength. 
Fortunately, I found another bottle of Double Strength pushed back to the back of the cupboard and back behind the lazy-susan spice rack in there. It was being rather elusive but at least I am not completely out like I thought I was. When I am down to opening the last bottle of vanilla in the cupboard we have reach crisis levels of vanilla. I honestly thought we had reached critical levels and were verging on a crisis, but alas that elusive bottle of Double Strength Vanilla saved us from uncertain baking failures for a few more days.
Unfortunately, however, I noticed the difference when I switched from Double Strength back to the Single Strength. I am not sure if it is a good thing that I have become accustomed to the “good stuff” when baking and am willing to go “really far” out of my way to get it. One would not think that it makes that big of a difference, but I can assure you that it can. 
How did I notice? I was eating a cookie from the first batch of cookies I made from the Single Strength Vanilla. I used the normal amount of Vanilla I normally use. I did not make any adjustments, I just measured it out and used it as it was. The same thing I have done with the Double Strength Vanilla since I have been buying it. 
I did not think much of it until I bit into that cookie.
My first thought, “That was kind of bland.” I actually had to go back through my mental checklist and even walked over to the recipe and went down the list to make sure I had not left anything out. I had not. Everything went into the bowl. I stood there with my cookie, looking at the ingredients on the counter trying to figure it out. I was stumped. I had done everything the same…almost…
The only change I had made was switched from Double Strength to Single Strength Vanilla. That simple change can make a huge difference in the overall flavor of your cookies, pies, and anything else you put it in. 
Do not get me wrong, there are some things that you only want the Single Strength Vanilla for thus the reason I have some in my cupboard at all times, but for other things where you can take a lot more vanilla and get away with it the Double Strength Vanilla can and will make a difference in your flavor for the better. It is AWESOME STUFF!!!
I will confess to NOT loving the Double Strength Vanilla at first. I thought it was too strong. I was real stingy with it at first. Now I apply liberally. It is amazing. My kids love it. They can tell the difference. 
So if you are in the market for some Vanilla, do not be shy…head down to Penzeys Spices and grab a few bottles. Pick me up a small one as a Thank You gift as you will be grateful for the tip.

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