Food gift guides can be tricky. Gadgets might be great fo someone, but might just look like drawer clutter to another. Food lovers can be hard to shop for, because unless you know them really well, you won’t have a sense of which piece of equipment, cookbook, or fancy food item they might already have.

This becomes even harder when the foodie you are shopping for is one of the people at the top of your list: the ones who get the really good gifts, the ones that rate something in the three-figure range. A super expensive bottle of wine or spirits is a splurge, for sure, but a short-lived enjoyment cycle. The same holds true of a one-night reservation for a special meal. And if the one you love is more of a baker than a savory cook, the stakes get higher because bakers are pretty limited in what type of equipment and tools they might need. So how do you ensure that your personal pastry chef is giddy with delight when opening their holiday gift? One word. Vanilla.

Watch: Replace Your Vanilla Extract With Bourbon, Give Your Baked Goods a Cheap, Tasty Twist

Vanilla is currently one of the most expensive ingredients out there, and yet, is the one ingredient that almost every sweet baking recipe calls for. So the gift of very nice vanilla extract or vanilla paste is hugely useful for the baker in your life. For gifts, i recommend the 32-ounce bottles of Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract (about $110) or vanilla paste (about $145), which come in lovely gift boxes. These commercial-sized bottles will last up to three years, and the product is pure and from one of the most coveted brands. The baker in your life will recognize the quality as well as the generosity, because at the moment teeny normal sized bottles of these products are running $20 to $25 each. 

Not only will your generosity be on display, it will be remembered every time they bake for the next year to three years depending on how often and sizeable their projects. Even better, you might just be the recipient of some grateful baking experiments. 

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