I know this is after the holiday baking season, but still worth checking out.
Costco has the Rodelle Vanilla pods 10 for about $11. (Years ago I paid close to $4 for a single bean at a specialty gourmet store, egad!) Costco usually only stocks the beans in the fall. This year they are nicely packaged nicely in 2 glass vials. It would have been a great gift (or still can be) for the baker in your life. You could buy the the package to split.....keeping one vial for yourself and one to give away.
I have been quite impressed with the quality of Rodelle vanilla beans. They are packaged as "Bourbon Madagascar" beans. The pods are thick, moist, supple, long & heavily scented. I still have a couple pods left from the batch I purchased last year from Costco and they are still supple (I've kept them in their glass bottle with the top twisted tight). They match the quality of the beans I was given by my sister who vacationed in Tahiti years back.
I've used the beans for creme brulee, rolled sugar cookies, delicate tuiles, frosting & pastry creme to name a few. I also either throw the spent pods into my sugar cannister where it does great things scenting it (though it does cause the sugar to clump a bit till it dries out, but I don't mind). Or, I bend the empty pods in half and shove them into my bulk & small vanilla extract bottles and whenever I need a teaspoon of extract I give the bottle a shake and I can see the tiny seeds in my measuring spoons.
What recipes are folks using their vanilla beans in?
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