This Christmas, give your beloved friends and family a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that'll keep on giving in the months to come: made-from-scratch vanilla extract. This recipe, which calls for only two ingredients and less than five minutes of prep, isn't just functional — it's also pretty and long-lasting. Watch the video to find out how to prolong the life of your homemade vanilla extract and how to package it as a beautiful gift for the holidays.
The mojito certainly gets the most play of any muddled drink, but others deserve a moment in the spotlight, too. Case in point: this surprising kiwi cobbler cocktail, which builds layer upon layer of flavor thanks to a tequila base and the addition of vanilla bean, sugar, soda water, and freshly muddled mint leaves and kiwi fruit. Watch the video, then print out the recipe and try it for yourself.
I've never been the biggest soda fan. Even as a child I was far more interested in sugar in solid form (I'm somewhat of a sour gummy candy fanatic) than Coke and the like. Nonetheless, I've always had a soft spot for fragrant cream soda. There's a certain ineffable something about it that manages to lure me in nearly every time I come across it — which is both sadly, and admittedly lucky for my waistline, not that often.
- Place the bean in an airtight container full of sugar. The vanilla will infuse the sugar and become vanilla sugar.
- Make a vanilla syrup. Add the seeds and beans to equal parts boiling sugar and water. Let steep for an hour, then pour into a bottle. Once cool, use the vanilla syrup to flavor cocktails, coffee, and soda.
- Place the bean in a small bottle and cover with 100 proof vodka, store in a cool dark place. In six months, you'll have vanilla extract.
- Make vanilla vodka or rum, by adding the bean to a store-bought bottle and letting it steep for one week.
- Scrape the seeds into a small bowl filled with salt and stir to combine. Use the vanilla salt to flavor ice cream and other desserts.
What's your favorite way of using leftover vanilla bean?
Not only has French Vanilla been a core flavor for the past 65 years, but vanilla is the most popular ice cream variety in America by a wide margin. Does the discontinuation of French Vanilla suggest fewer consumers have an appetite for the flavor?
In recent frozen dessert encounters, I've spotted vanilla bean ice cream much more frequently than its flaxen yellow French counterpart, which is strained to be free of flavorful vanilla bean seeds and made heavier and creamier with egg custard. What do you think: Will other ice cream companies follow suit? Does French vanilla ice cream seem like a dated flavor to you?
Source: Flickr User cowbite
Thus, I'm going to take this recipe for classic vanilla-on-vanilla cupcakes and make mini cupcakes. Then, I'll divide the vanilla buttercream into four bowls and tint each one a different color: red, blue, green, and yellow.
I'll arrange the mini cupcakes on a white platter in the same pattern that the dots are on a Twister board! To look at the basic vanilla cupcake recipe I'm using, read more
I was talking to CasaSugar today and found out that she isn't the biggest fan of vanilla-scented things, which got a bunch of us into a conversation about different common scents we're not so fond of inhaling.
It turns out PartySugar doesn't like incense and I cannot condone that waxy fake chocolate scent (organic and real chocolate notes, though, I love.) It seems like all of us have at least one Achilles' heel when it comes to smells. So now I want to know if there's a common scent you can't stand, and if you have one, what is it?
When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted (and explained that the sky's the limit!), she simply replied, "I want a vanilla cake. Is that boring?" Hardly. A basic vanilla cake with whipped frosting is elegant and classic. To make it extra special, I'll place 29 candles on it. Want to see the recipe I'm using? Keep reading.