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If Grandma made pecan pie or candies, chances are this was part of her recipe. It comes in both light and dark variations and stores indefinitely in the pantry or refrigerator.
Called “flavoring” by my grandma, vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in an alcohol-water solution to extract the flavor. Today it’s available in many different forms—pure vanilla extract, imitation vanilla, vanilla paste, etc. Mostly used in baking, all varieties essentially add flavor (as Grandma says) to your dish. Cool fact: Those speckles in vanilla ice cream come from the vanilla bean pod used to make the extract. It’s easier than you think to make vanilla extract at home.
Who knew such a thing exists? After all, all-purpose flour is “all-purpose,” so we shouldn’t need any other kind, right? I believe, though, that cake flour is the secret to why Grandma’s cakes are always so delicious. Cake flour has a finer texture and is used in baking to yield cakes that are tender and fluffy. It also works in waffles or pancakes. Cool fact: Many Southerners use cake flour in biscuits and mile-high layer cakes. Not using this flour is one of the baking mistakes you didn’t know you were making.