Star Kay White is a privately owned family business established in 1890 with a fifth generation of family members having joined the company. They make a range of extracts and flavorings – from vanilla and lavender to chocolate, red velvet and cookies n’ cream – and have long specialized in flavorings for ice cream manufacturers such as Breyers, Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, but they are also available to the home baker for whatever you might be making.
They sent us a few of their flavorings and we test-drove the peppermint extract in our Homemade Thin Mints with stellar results. The extract has a very clean mint flavor that complemented our cookie recipe perfectly. The Rose and lavender extracts intrigued us because we often turn to rose water when we want a floral flavor, but it is not that potent and some recipes can’t afford the extra liquid. A few drops of either of these in whipped cream are simply ethereal over a bowl of fresh fruit as seen in berries with Whipped Rose Cream. The same ingredients could be turned into a fruit fool with lovely results, and we also like the rose flavoring in white chocolate mousse.
The sweet, floral flavors also work well in your favorite shortbread or buttery cookie recipe. If you want to make a lavender shortbread, consider using the extract as well as some crumbled lavender flowers, which you can often find in stores that carry herbs and spices in bulk.
Anise extract has a black licorice flavor and we love it in biscotti and bizcochito recipes as well as springerle and pizelle. In any of these cookies, you could use actual anise seed as well as the extract to double up on flavor.
Extracts and flavorings have an exceedingly long shelf life and are not expensive, so consider branching out beyond vanilla and almond extract and stock up on a few. If you have them on hand you will be more apt to experiment.
These can be found on Amazon, through Sur La Table (for some flavors) or ordered directly from Star Kay White.
Image by Peter Muka
Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.