Packaged in clear glass bottles and other simple wrappings, the natural products of Bakto Flavors look as if they’ve been plucked from the town apothecary shop of bygone years. Made with 100% natural ingredients, Bakto’s flavors are geared for home and professional chefs, or anyone who desires the incredible taste that results from cooking and baking with premium, natural extracts and spices.
“I have never come across a brand with such natural, pure flavor as Bakto,” says Melinda Strauss of Kitchen-Tested.com. “I can literally smell the scent of vanilla from across the room!” Indeed, many of our reviewers had similar experiences, noting that the tantalizing aromas inspired an avalanche of culinary ideas…or even a befuddlement over which enticing flavor to sample first.
“When my package arrived, I unpacked a real-life pot of gold,” writes Faigy Grossman, author of Kosher Scoop’s Cookie of the Week column. “Where would I start?”
Even on the other side of the kitchen, Bakto succeeded in converting non-bakers into proud ones. “The mix of products—jars of ground vanilla bean, bags of ginger and vanilla sugars, bottle of peppermint and vanilla extracts, a bottle of jasmine flavor, and a packet of vanilla beans—were nothing short of inspirational,” writes Goldie Grossman. “And just like that, I decided that I do like baking!”
Vanilla flavor, apparently, comes in many forms at Bakto, which include the basic vanilla bean, classic vanilla extract, ground vanilla bean and a vanilla-sugar blend. Our chefs suggested many usages of the various forms.
“Hands down, this was the best vanilla sugar I have ever used or tasted,” raves Perri Hack- Moskovits. “There was none of that artificial after-taste on your tongue and it just had the aroma of vanilla and a hint of the taste.”
Roberta Scher, of KosherEye.com, added vanilla sugar into her challah dough and ground vanilla bean sugar into cake batters. She enthuses about her Vanilla Simple Syrup, a wonderful staple made with a vanilla bean that can be used as a sweetener in everything from cakes and preserves to cocktails and confections.
Melinda Strauss was most pleasantly surprised by the ground vanilla beans, a new addition to her pantry, which she found extremely useful when she wanted to add a dash of vanilla flavor to desserts. The ultimate vanilla dessert she chose to make with her Bakto products was Vanilla Bean Waffle Cookies, using a whole vanilla bean and vanilla sugar. Filled with vanilla cream and drizzled with ground vanilla-bean icing, her recipe can be found on Kitchen-Tested.com.
Like other testers, Sharon Matten sought a worthy recipe that highlighted the added flavors. “When I made the Ground Vanilla Bean Kugel with Vanilla Sugar, the entire kugel was inhaled,” she writes. “The ground vanilla bean gave it a rich, welcoming flavor that went over big with my family and guests.”
A very popular suggestion among our reviewers was to infuse beverages with the flavors. KosherEye.com found a winning recipe by adding both the vanilla sugar and extract into El Submarino Hot Chocolate, a recipe modified from one discovered in Argentina. Norene Gilletz, noted cookbook author and creator of Gourmania.com, added vanilla powder to coffee and hot chocolate. She also achieved great results by adding it to more basic foods, like morning oatmeal (along with her regular cinnamon and brown sugar dustings), yogurt and her Homemade Applesauce. A double infusion of vanilla, in its powder and extract forms, make Faigy Grossman’s Vanilla Confetti Balls a delicious treat that kids will enjoy both making and eating.
Inspired by her Bakto bonanza, Victoria Carreiro, who blogs at itsybitsybalabusta.com, also innovated by transforming an ordinary breakfast recipe into an extraordinary treat. Her grandmother’s classic pancake recipe became Golden Vanilla Cane Sugar Crepes with the addition of Bakto’s vanilla extract. “The Bakto flavors are distinct, yet subtle, and the array of options is enough to make any baker giddy,” she says. “These products elevate your baking with the simple task of adding a teaspoon here or there.”
Nossi Fogel, blogger at thekoshergastronome.wordpress.com, used the vanilla extract in Beignets Funnel Cake and cooking teacher Erica Solomon notched up French Toast first by adding vanilla sugar to the egg mixture and then by slathering the hot treat with her delectable Vanilla Butter. Aviva Horowitz used vanilla cane sugar in a recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes.
Perri Hack-Moskovits chose a recipe that incorporated multiple flavors. Coconut Crème Brulee with Ginger Glaze is made with a vanilla bean and ginger sugar, but in general, she found myriad uses for the ground vanilla bean. “At some point I found that I was taking pinches of the ground vanilla bean and throwing it into whatever I was baking,” she writes. “I even just added some to a batch of chocolate chip cookies…my husband said it was the best batch I have ever made and kept asking why it was so good. I told him it was the love I put into it!” Moskovits highly recommends using it in her Angel Food Cake recipe.
Evelyn Marcus used the ground vanilla bean in blondies and Chocolate Chip Cookies, where it blended with the butter and brown sugar beautifully. And, after some contemplation, Faigy Grossman decided on the perfect recipe for the vanilla bean: Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Tired of tasting inadequate results with low-grade products, she knew that Bakto’s vanilla would not let her down. Made with both ground vanilla and vanilla bean, the result was outstanding.
Faigy also added peppermint extract to her Mint-Chocolate Thumbprints cookies. The peppermint flavor had just the right potency—flavorful without being overwhelming. And Suzannah Raff, creator of Koshershopaholic.com, was thrilled to use Bakto’s peppermint, along with their golden vanilla cane sugar, in her Decadent Mint Cookies ’n Cream Ice Cream recipe.
Goldie Grossman added a tablespoon of jasmine to a Levana’s Classic Biscotti Recipe, resulting in a timeless-tasting biscotti with an exotic twist. She creatively suggests using this essence when baking nut-free. “It adds the depth of an almond-type flavor without the allergens,” she says.
Sharon Matten, a Kosher Scoop writer and creator of Koshereveryday.com, used one teaspoon of ginger sugar in her Sweet Ginger Pineapple Chicken, but recommends doubling that amount for a stronger ginger taste. Ginger sugar makes a sweet addition to fruit-infused teas.
Evelyn Marcus was thrilled with the results of Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies when she modified the recipe to incorporate the Bakto ginger sugar. She also suggests adding this product to hot chocolate or rolling truffles in it.
Evelyn also received rave reviews from her family for her sweet potato soup when she added Bakto’s maple extract to it.
Blood Orange Extract
Erica Solomon was happy to discover that the blood orange extract was clear with a natural orange scent. While she wasn’t sure what to expect with its potency, she was pleased to be able to rate it moderate, compared to the milder flavor of vanilla and the stronger taste of mint. Erica used 1.5 teaspoons in her Orange-Coconut Cupcakes and found the flavor to be just right.
With her taste buds whetted, Chaia Frishman, who writes for Kosher Scoop and owns Fruitplattersandmore.com, explored Bakto’s website (baktoflavors.com) to discover the other natural flavors they carry. The choice is extensive, and they even allow shoppers to customize boxes of premium flavors. Frishman contacted Bakto and received a delivery of specific flavors to sample. She also liked the idea of adding them into drinks (such as pecan and chocolate extracts into coffee—either together or separately). She sampled fruit extracts and found that a few drops of pomegranate extract enlivened the dressing of her pomegranate jicama salad, as did strawberry extract (or kiwi or mango) to the balsamic vinaigrette in a strawberry mango salad.
Many reviewers recommend using a few drops of any Bakto flavoring as a wonderful flavor enhancer that doesn’t add calories. But however you decide to use them, you won’t be disappointed. “Bakto flavors and extracts are an incredibly simple way to elevate even basic recipes,” says Goldie Grossman.
For a full list of all recipes on KosherScoop.com included in this article click here.
Visit Bakto Flavors at www.baktoflavors.com. Order products online or find a retailer near you!
You can also purchase their products on Amazon using links below: