Pandan Extract Is The Secret Ingredient To Making Perfect Holiday Cookies

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As a baker and cookbook author always looking for novel ways to enhance my desserts with color, especially during the holidays, I veered away from conventional and tasteless food colorings. I found the answer in a remarkable Southeast Asian ingredient: pandan extract. This vibrant green essence not only bestows a striking verdant hue upon cookies and cakes but also imparts a unique flavor profile, echoing notes of young coconut and a subtle yet pleasant floral touch. Some refer to pandan as the "vanilla of Asia," but it's so much more than that. I would argue that vanilla is the pandan of the West. 

Pandan extract is the secret ingredient that can transform your ordinary holiday cookies into something extraordinary. Imagine your classic snickerdoodles or peanut blossoms donning a beautiful shade of Grinch green, perfect for the festive season. Using pandan extract eliminates the need for vanilla in your bakes, offering a more economical and equally aromatic alternative, if not more. You can easily source pandan extract in the baking aisles of Asian supermarkets or through online platforms like Sarap Now, Halo Pantry, and Amazon, making it accessible for all your holiday baking adventures. Brands that make pandan extract include Butterfly and McCormick. Note the pandan extract by Halo Pantry is colorless but flavorful.

Make Grinch-approved cookies and treats for the holidays with pandan extract

Whether baking a batch of classic snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, milk bread, soft cakes, or even a simple pound cake, a teaspoon of pandan extract can transform these treats into Grinch-approved sweets. Using pandan extract in your holiday baking is a straightforward process. When baking, use it like you would vanilla extract. To your batter or dough, add the pandan extract along with your other wet ingredients. This will ensure you evenly distribute the pandan extract throughout the mixture, imbuing every bite with its flavor and verdant hue. 

The amount of pandan extract you use can vary depending on the intensity of flavor and color you desire. A good starting point is to replace the vanilla extract in your recipe with an equal amount of pandan extract. For instance, if your cookie recipe calls for one teaspoon of vanilla, use one teaspoon of pandan extract instead. However, you could adjust the quantity to suit your taste, and how vibrantly green you want your cookie or cake to be. 

As you plan your holiday baking, consider adding this secret ingredient, pandan extract, to your pantry. Its vibrant green hue is more pronounced than the muted green of matcha, offering your desserts a festive, eye-catching twist. Whether you're hosting a holiday party or simply baking for family and friends, your beautifully green, pandan-infused treats will surely be a conversation starter.