A KSTP-TV photojournalist by day, Lee Zwiefelhofer’s after-hours career is devoted to creating flavor-concentrated extracts that he markets under the l.c.finns label.

Zwiefelhofer tinkered for a year before hitting the sweet spot on his vanilla extract formula, but it was time well spent. Bakers will appreciate its rich, deep flavor notes, improving every cookie it touches. It’s so fragrant that it would not appear out of place at the perfume counter. Zwiefelhofer produces it in a St. Paul commercial kitchen, one gallon at a time, by cold-steeping a precise ratio of Madagascar-imported bourbon vanilla beans in 80-proof alcohol. That’s it: no sugar, no additives.

“It’s nothing more than a combination of beans, alcohol and time,” he said. “Just pure, simple flavor.”

Where to find it: $8 for 1 ounce; available at Cooks of Crocus Hill, Golden Fig Fine Foods, Local D’Lish, some Whole Foods Markets and at www.lcfinns.com.