During a recent pantry excavation, we unearthed two practically full bottles of almond extract, both of which had been purchased for some specific cake or cookie recipe and then forgotten. Clearly it was time to put it to use! Almond extract will never be an everyday flavoring, but we did come up with some ways to enjoy it more often. • Oatmeal: We usually add vanilla to our oatmeal, so a drop of almond extract is a nice change of pace. It goes well with other oatmeal toppings like peaches, figs, dried cranberries, and raisins. We bet it would be great in oatmeal cookies, too.
• Rice: First we added almond extract to rice pudding – a delicious no-brainer – and then we experimented with steamed rice. Inspired by a Middle Eastern recipe, we cooked the rice with saffron, almonds, raisins, and almond extract. It was wonderfully fragrant!
• French toast: Again, almond extract is a good substitute for the usual vanilla extract. We prefer just a subtle boost of flavor – about 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract for 4 slices of bread, but you can add more, if you like.
• Fruit: We love baked apples and stewed fruits this time of year, and guess what – almond flavor goes well with just about all of them!
• Coffee: We haven't tried this one yet but have seen it mentioned online. Have you added almond extract to beverages?
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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