The Vanilla Extract Hack To Make Your Kitchen Smell Like Baked Goods (Without Actually Baking)

jar and teaspoon of vanilla extract
jar and teaspoon of vanilla extract - New Africa/Shutterstock

We all love the way the kitchen smells after a good bout of baking. And it's not just the kitchen, but the whole house too. Within this enticing aroma of freshly baked goods are smells like chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla. Vanilla extract shows up in most baked goods, and it's distinctly fragrant. It has a sweet warmth that's detectable from the moment the lid is cracked off the bottle. As you pour it into the dough, its mesmerizing scent engulfs you, and you think to yourself, "I wish I could smell this forever." Fortunately, there's a way to make this smell linger in the air, and you don't even have to do any baking.

If you want your house to smell like vanilla, there are a few methods to accomplish this. First, you can try saturating cotton balls in vanilla extract and leaving them in key places around the house — like DIY air fresheners. Or, the slightly more cozy method would be to make a vanilla simmer pot. A simmer pot is simply a pot that you fill with water, place on the stove to simmer, and throw in aromatic ingredients to make the house smell delightful. These ingredients could be anything like citrus, herbs, and spices. Vanilla is the ideal simmer pot ingredient because it makes a huge impact with only a few tablespoons. Best of all, vanilla has such a pleasant smell on its own that it needs no other accompaniments in the pot.

Read more: The Most Useless Cooking Utensils, According To Chefs

Level Up Your Simmer Pot With Fiori Di Sicilia

orange slices in a simmer pot
orange slices in a simmer pot - MrWinn/Shutterstock

For a more unique simmer pot scent, Fiori di Sicilia is an aromatic Italian extract is a level up from vanilla. It's commonly added to Italian bread like panettone, a sweet bread with candied orange peels and dried fruits. In fact, Fiori di Sicilia has many interesting flavor notes including fresh citrus, musky vanilla, and sweet florals. It's a complex extract that is quite potent and should only be used in drops. However, this complexity makes it an excellent ingredient for a simmer pot. You'll still get the baked good feel from the full-bodied vanilla while benefiting from its other exciting scents as well.

Fiori di Sicilia is also versatile if you want to do some actual baking with it. In general, it could be used as a substitute in anything that calls for vanilla. However, it's best to consider what baked goods can complement Fiori di Sicilia's citrusy side before using it. For example, Fiori di Sicilia would go very well in scones, either plain or orange, or in an olive oil cake. Alternatively, use it to instantly elevate an icing or buttercream. Your kitchen will smell like a vanilla-citrus dream after all this baking, and best of all, you'll get to eat the yummy outcome.

Read the original article on Mashed.