Posts Tagged ‘vanilla’

Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies & Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Giveaway

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Celebrate with this variation of my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies – chopped milk chocolate almond bars, sliced almonds, and some delicious Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract. 

Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies 1

It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! To help celebrate Nielsen-Massey sent me some of their Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla extract to use in cookies I baked to celebrate this occasion. And better yet they are also giving away a bottle to one of my readers. Just use the Rafflecopter widget after checking out these cookies.

NMV Mad 2 oz

These chocolate chip cookies are another variation on my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies. They are actually chocolate chunk cookies but I think they still qualify for the holiday. I chopped up 6 full-sized milk chocolate bars with almonds and also added sliced almonds, almond meal and as usual a whole tablespoon of vanilla extract. The Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract made these nutty cookies especially delicious.

Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies 2

One year ago: Strawberry Banana Granola

Two years ago: Raw Cookie Dough Bites
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Review: Halo Top Ice Cream Giveaway & Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie

If you love Neapolitan ice cream then check out this ice cream pie. Simply layer thawed chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream into a chocolate cookie pie crust and you’ll have an impressive dessert.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie 1

Have you heard of the new Halo Top ice cream yet? It is a low calorie ice cream that is non-gmo, 100% natural, high in protein and fiber, and sweetened with organic stevia to lower the sugar content. One pint of Halo Top vanilla bean contains 280 calories, 28g protein and 16g net carbs (compared to 1,080 calories, 16g of protein and 96g net carbs in a pint of Haagen-Dazs vanilla bean ice cream)! Additionally, it is made with premium ingredients such as Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar vanilla, and real California lemons and strawberries. If that isn’t heavenly enough for you, the pints are also donned with golden tops to look like halos.

Halo Top comes in four flavors: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Strawberry and Lemon Cake. I was lucky enough to try all four and the lemon cake was my favorite. It reminded me of the lemon chalet girl scout cookies! But overall I was impressed with how delicious the ice cream tasted, especially being someone who tends to dislike sugar alternatives. The only tricky part is that Halo Top ice cream freezes a little harder because of its lower fat content, which tested my patience a bit as I waited for it to thaw a little into a scoopable consistency.

It was worth the wait because once they did temper I was able to make you a fantastic little ice cream pie using three of the flavors – Neapolitan ice cream pie! Who knew an impressive-looking dessert could be made so easily? And better yet, I am giving away a coupon for a free pint of Halo Top ice cream so you may try it out for yourself. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter, then check out their website to find out more about their ice cream and where to buy it!

Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie 2

One year ago: Asian Fried Quinoa

Three years ago: Black Forest Stuffed Cupcakes
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Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Shake with Blackberry Swirl

What goes with burgers almost as well as fries? Milkshakes! And one of my favorite milkshakes happens to be blackberry so it was an easy decision to make this milkshake to go along with the burger I shared the other day. I decided to make this milkshake lighter by using reduced fat milk and ice cream and I think it came out great. The swirly action was pretty, but next time I would blend the blackberries straight into the milkshake because I ended up using a spoon to eat as the berries kept clogging my straw! Delicious, but required more effort than a milkshake should require. Or maybe I just need to invest in wider straws.

One quick rant: Do you know what happens when you photograph a milkshake outside in 90+ temperatures? It melts and turns into flavored milk. Alas, another one of the perils of food blogging.

Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Milkshake with Blackberry Swirl

Two years ago: Nutella Waffles with Raspberry Syrup
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Malted Vanilla Cosmic Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

On Tuesday, my fabulous purple bangs were dyed back to brown and also had lowlights put in while I was at it. As much as I am unhappy about this transition (and feel like an imposter when I look in the mirror), I decided to make myself feel better by coming up with the theory that the brown hair will send good vibes into the world, making my experiments work better and therefore help me graduate sooner and get a job (hence the need for normal looking hair). Sure enough, the experiment that has been an extra pain lately finally worked! I call it my brown hair magic, and you cannot make fun of me because it’s working. It’s also my birthday tomorrow, so I can do what I want.

I’m going to go ahead and tell you that this ice cream might be one of my favorite homemade versions ever. That should mean a lot since I have made ice cream flavors consisting of peanut butter cup s’mores, double cake batter truffle, and Reese’s peanut butter cup. The ice cream base is malted vanilla which is heavenly enough on its own, but then chopped up homemade cosmic brownies are thrown in along with some extra sprinkle action. The best part about making the cosmic brownies from scratch, is that I under baked them for extra fudgy gloriousness.

P.S. Tonight is the start of Beale Street Music Fest – I like to pretend it’s a weekend-long party dedicated to my birthday every year.

Malted Vanilla Cosmic Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

One year ago: Sausage, Red Bell Pepper and Spinach Pesto Pizza
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Homemade Eggnog

Upon returning from the holiday break I finally decided it was time to try baking something with Eggnog. Even though it’s not my favorite beverage to drink by itself, I was convinced it would be good cooked into something. However, the grocery stores were all out of eggnog. I suppose this should not have been a surprise but I had hoped there would be some leftovers on sale. Thankfully there are recipes to make your own at home, so I did! Who says you cannot have eggnog post-Christmas?

This recipe caught my eye because it uses lower fat milk and just the egg yolks in order to maintain the richness known to be associated with eggnog. Not that I truly have any standards in my eggnog since like I already said, I don’t drink it (unless it’s spiked). But I suppose that means it will work very well in any recipe I desire to make which calls for eggnog in the ingredient list.

Homemade Eggnog

One year ago: Lasagna Soup with Ricotta Bread

Two years ago: Pumpkin Pancakes

HOMEMADE EGGNOG

This delicious recipe can be found at In Jennie’s Kitchen

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Guest Post: Butterscotch Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Food Babbles

If you are unfamiliar with Kate’s blog titled Food Babbles, then I have to admit so was I until recently and already have found myself bookmarking several recipes of hers including Oatmeal Muffins with Blueberry and Coconut, Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling, and Jarlsberg Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese. I think that’s pretty good evidence for why I am so glad to be a follower. Now it’s your turn to get familiar, you won’t regret it!

One year ago: Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

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Hi there! I couldn’t be happier to be here today on The Spiffy Cookie.  Thanks for having me, Erin! I’m Kate and I author the blog Food Babbles. I’m a mostly stay-at-home mom, part-time paramedic, baker, dessert maker and just a girl with a passion for good food. Much like Erin, my favorite food group is dessert so we’ll get along just fine ;)

Lately I have a raging butterscotch addiction thanks to Zeke’s Butterscotch. I kid you not, it’s an obsession. Their butterscotch is unlike any I’ve ever had before. It has this deep, rich flavor that makes it stand out from the rest. Well, after making those crazy good cookies I needed to use the butterscotch in something else because it was just such a fantastic ingredient. My oldest daughter, HB suggested ice cream. Sold!! We decided to set out to make what could quite possibly be the world’s most addictive ice cream.  I feel pretty confident when I say, “Mission accomplished.”

This ice cream has a rich butterscotch custard base that makes for thick, creamy decadence. Then I churned in bits of butterscotch too and that just took it completely over the top in the “amazing” department. After the first bite, my husband Mike quickly took several more exclaiming “Oh, man… this stuff is so good! This is like crack!” I suppose that’s always a good thing when someone can’t stop eating something I’ve made and worries they may form an addiction.

Truly though, this ice cream is honestly a wonderful treat that you will have trouble putting down. Smooth and creamy with rich butterscotch in every bite. The perfect summery delight.

*What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Enjoy!

~K

Butterscotch Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Adapted from David Lebovitz

1 cup (250ml) whole milk

A pinch of salt

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

5 Tablespoons finely crushed hard butterscotch candy, divided (preferably Zeke’s Butterscotch)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

– In a small saucepan, heat the milk, salt, and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Remove from heat and cover to allow the vanilla bean to infuse the milk for 1 hour.

– Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

– In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk.

– Very slowly drizzle some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. After about half of the warm milk has been incorporated into the egg yolks, scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

– Add 2 tablespoons of the crushed butterscotch candy. Stir constantly over low heat and scrape the bottom of the saucepan with a rubber spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

– Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir the mixture over the ice until it has cooled, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.

– Transfer the custard into your ice cream maker and freeze the custard according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

– During the last 5 minutes of churn time, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons finely crushed butterscotch pieces.

– Enjoy!

Butter Pecan with Brandy Ice Cream & Ice Cream Happy Hour Cookbook Giveaway

Yes I made ice cream during the fall. But the weather has bounced back into the 70s here so can you really blame me? Besides, this ice cream definitely applies for this time of year. Or any time of the year actually, because it’s always the right time for an ice cream happy hour! Oh yea, you heard/read correctly – this ice cream is not for kids.

Thanks to Ulysses Press, I received a copy of the cookbook, Ice Cream Happy Hour. Inside you will find ice cream flavors inspired by your favorite cocktails. My first order to the bartender was for this recipe because it sounded a bit fall-y to me. The candied pecans were the stars of this ice cream, while the brandy had the role of side-kick. Gets your spoons ready!

BUTTER PECAN WITH BRANDY ICE CREAM

Makes about 1-1/2 quarts

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1 packet (1 Tbsp) gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup cold (refrigerated) brandy

2 cups candied pecans (recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. Mix the milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  While the milk mixture is heating, split the vanilla bean down the center lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Whisk seeds into the milk mixture, then add the empty pod to the pan. Continue heating until the mixture is steamy and makes a slight sizzling noise when you move the pan.
  2. Once the milk mixture is scalding, remove pan from the heat and cover it. After about 15 minutes, remove the vanilla bean pod.
  3. Reheat the milk mixture back up to scalding. While the milk mixture heats to scalding, whisk together the egg yolks with the brown sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Gently stream about one-third of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking continuously.
  4. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the rest of the milk mixture in the saucepan and stir continuously on low heat until thickened (the custard should thicken rather quickly because of the cornstarch). Make sure you scrape the bottom evenly while you continuously stir. The custard custard is thick enough when you can draw a line on the back of a spoon with your finger and the line retains its shape.
  5. Strain the custard, cover with plastic wrap so that it’s directly touching the entire surface of the custard and none of it is exposed to air (this prevents a skin from developing), and chill the custard in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  6. When the custard is cold and you are ready to churn the ice cream, dissolve the gelatin in the cold water in a small saucepan. Allow to sit until the gelatin appears to have absorbed as much water as it can, about 2 minutes. Gently warm over low heat and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the liquid, about 3 minutes.
  7. Pour the gelatin into a medium bowl and whisk in the cold brandy until combined. Stream the alcohol and gelatin mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the custard and whisk until thoroughly blended.
  8. Pour the cold custard immediately into the ice cream maker and churn as directed by your ice cream maker.
  9. Scoop about one-third of the ice cream into a freezer-proof container and sprinkle about one-third of the candied pecans on top. Repeat layers twice more with the remaining ice cream and pecans, then gently fold it all together. Be sure to work quickly – if the ice cream melts too much, it will just get icy once it’s in the freezer. Freeze for at least two hours before servings.

CANDIED PECANS

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups pecan halves

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Once the pecans are toasted, roll them in the butter and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put the sugar in a large saucepan. Add just enough water to the sugar until it is the texture of wet sand (you might not use all the water). Cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, continue cooking until is is soft-cracked, about 15 minutes. At this point the sugar should be colorless but viscous, and the bubbles should be on the small side. You can also use a candy thermometer; the temperature should be between 270 and 290.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the toasted pecans. Tilt the pan at an angle and rapidly stir the pecans to aerate and evenly coat them with the sugar syrup.
  6. Once the pecans are evenly coated, return the pan to the stove over low heat and periodically stir the pecans until the look like they’re coated with crunchy caramel and white sugar, about 5 minutes.
  7. Cool the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once they’re completely cool, chop them.

Source: Ice Cream Happy Hour

DON’T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!

In case you haven’t added this recipe book to your online cart and checked out already, I thought you’s also like to know that I am giving away a brand new copy of this cookbook to one wonderfully lucky reader! First you must answer the question, “What is your favorite cocktail?” (non-alcoholic options are acceptable). And then there are 3 more ways you can enter! See below:



Homemade Vanilla Extract

I have had the luxury of baking with Mexican vanilla in the past, and it forever ruined me for anything that can be purchased in the States. So when I saw the homemade vanilla extract on My Baking Addiction, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Finding myself at the Beanilla website I ordered 25 Mexican vanilla beans, a half gallon bottle for extracting, and a slew of 4 oz bottles for dispersal. Dispersal for what? Christmas presents!

The Beanilla package came expertly wrapped. I was so relieved to see the package on my doorstep as opposed to the salmon colored slip indicating that the parcel could be picked up at the post office (which is so very much not fun). The aroma that wafted out of the Mexican vanilla beans upon opening the vacuum sealed package was intoxicating – a scent which lingered on my hands after handling them as well. After splitting 15 vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise, leaving 1/2 inch at the end intact, I let them swim with 40 oz of vodka in the half gallon bottle. Although tempted to stare at it as though watching grass grow I stashed it away in a cool, dry place for the next 3 weeks, and only took it out to shake around about once a week.

Typically you are supposed to let it sit for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately this project was not known to me until the first week in December. Thankfully I found advice to include a vanilla bean in each bottle when divided up into their respective 4 oz bottles. I advised the giftees to refrain from using it for another couple weeks. As an added bonus with the bean in the bottle, when the vanilla stock dwindles a little more vodka will replenish the supply! Of course this will occur again after waiting at least a few weeks. Patience is a virtue, but it is a gift that keeps on giving!

I also used labels which can also be found on My Baking Addiction, and copied the decoration with similar twine and snowflakes. It made for a great touch!

Ingredients:

Sterilized Jar or Bottle with a tight, secure lid

Vanilla Beans in your favorite variety (rule of thumb is st least 1 bean per 1/3 cup of alcohol)

Vodka (I used Three Olives, but you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy)

Directions:

  1. Use a knife to split the bean in half, leave about 1/2 inch at each end intact.
  2. Put your vanilla beans in your glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka.
  3. Close jar or bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 6-8 weeks. Give the bottle a shake every week or so.
  4. As you use the vanilla, simply add in more liquor to replace what you have used.

Source: My Baking Addiction

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