By Kristie | November 6, 2020

It’s officially pumpkin spice season, so that means fall-themed food and drink. But do you know what makes an autumn-themed dish perfect? Vanilla extract.

That’s right, vanilla extract will be your friend in turning even the most mundane dishes into extraordinary creations. In this post, we have some suggestions as to the daily — and special occasion — things you can use vanilla extract in. From your morning cup of joe to your homemade pumpkin pie, here are some of our favorite fall food and drink ideas where vanilla extract could really make everything come alive.

Coffee

Greet the fall season with a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract in your morning coffee. It’ll be like turning over a new leaf every time you inhale the smell of freshly brewed coffee mingled with vanilla. You can even add in a dash of your favorite seasonal creamer — flavored with pumpkin spiced latte, butterscotch, or toasted marshmallow — to complete the fall picture.

Credit: 2020 Creative Commons user edsel_
Credit: 2020 Creative Commons user preppybyday

Pumpkin Pie

The only thing that could improve upon the classic pumpkin pie recipe is a hint of vanilla extract. Throw it in the mix and taste the results — you’ll be happy you did! Or, if you want to go for the full aesthetic, replace the extract with the real thing by scraping out a couple of vanilla beans directly into the pumpkin mix. You’ll be able to see and taste the fine black specks in the final product!

Mulled Wine or Cider

Nothing says falling leaves like a nice brew of mulled wine or cider, filling the house with the warm scent of spices and/or fruit. What would make it even better? You guessed it: vanilla extract. It’ll add a floral note to cut through some of the sharpness of the spice, perfectly balancing out all the flavors. Drinking responsibly never tasted so good.

Cinnamon Rolls

If a big, warm hug had a taste, it would be the cinnamon roll. These babies are both fun to make and eat, and the only thing that could elevate it is vanilla extract. You could put it in the dough, the frosting, or both! Something about cinnamon and vanilla screams fall, so we feel pretty confident about recommending this particular pairing to you.

Credit: 2020 Creative Commons user mal-gallery

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Let’s step away from the bakes now and consider the possibilities when it comes to soup. With vanilla extract, roasted butternut squash soup goes to a whole other level. The vanilla flavor enhances the squash’s sweetness while balancing out the more subtle flavors of onion or whatever else you choose to add to your soup. It’s the quintessential fall soup, made perfect with just a little dash of vanilla!

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