I probably overuse spices and extracts when I bake, but I love how they make the whole kitchen, and sometimes the whole house, smell even before they’re in the oven. This is where all the flavor comes from. Nielsen-Massey extracts are the tops; they have no equal in terms of quality and flavor. Vanilla and almond are always in the pantry. Though I use them infrequently, their vanilla beans are also top notch.
I use different brands of spices. I find McCormick has quality products, and I’ll let you know if I find new favorites. I always keep their ground ginger, cloves, allspice, and cream of tartar in the pantry. I have been using Williams Sonoma’s whole nutmeg in recipes; it’s one of the few spices I always grate fresh. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Cinnamon is of great quality and very convenient and cost effective, since I use a ton of cinnamon. When a recipe’s flavor is based on salt, as in a salted caramel, I use Maldon sea salt, but otherwise I use my McCormick salt grinder on the finest setting.