Tag Archives: vanilla

A soft and moist vanilla cake with notes of Earl Grey Tea. {vegan}

Vanilla Earl Grey Bundt Cake

We’ve got this big box of Earl Grey tea in our pantry. Nobody’s drinking it (Dave liked it for a while, but has moved on to green teas). So there it is every time I go in, taunting me to throw it out… Except I hate wasting things… Then I started seeing Earl Grey recipes on Pinterest and a lightbulb went off!
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Funfetti Cupcakes

Funfetti Cupcakes

So, um… Recently, there’s been some complaints about my baking… Now, I don’t want to go naming names, or anything, so just follow my eyes…

( 0)  ( 0)   – – ->   {Dave}

Shocking! I know!… And what exactly is his complaint? It’s too brown… Yup, you read that right… “How come everything you bake is brown?,” he says. “No body likes brown,” he says. “You should use more colour,” he says… Of course I handled this with grace and an open mind. *insert sarcastic tone and eye roll*

After I finished pouting, I revisited my more recent posts and have to admit that he’s right. Though the recipes are tasty, the colours emerging from my kitchen have been pretty bland. So today, I hope to dazzle you with a rainbow of sprinkles and sparkly coloured sugar.

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Shortbread Thumbprints

Shortbread Thumbprints

Is there any better way to present a jam, than nestled in a delicious vanilla shortbread cookie? I think not. Which is why, when I found myself with several jars of jam on my hands, I immediately imagined dollops of the sugary goodness in thumbprint cookies.

The jam was left over from Christmas. I make my gifts, and last year I decided to make vanilla extract, vanilla scented salt, vanilla-pear jam, and blueberry-vanilla jam… Do you see a theme here? :-)… Anyway, turns out I made more jam than I needed, and 5 jars of the stuff would take me years to go through (if I were to use it on toast). Dave is particular and eats only red jams, so he is of no help.

Of course I don’t expect you to have vanilla jam on hand, nor do you need to. Use whatever jam is your favorite… However, if you’d like to try turning your preferred, store bought jam into a vanilla version, here’s how. Heat 1 cup of jam, 1/3 of a vanilla bean (split, scrape out caviar, and add both scrapings and pod to jam), and about 2 tablespoons of water (add more if needed). Heat over medium-low for 15 minutes (stirring frequently). Remove pod and transfer jam back to jar (if you used the whole jar) or into a new container, and let sit in refrigerator for a week to allow flavours to mingle… For homemade jam, I added the pods and the scrapings of 2 beans to a recipe that yielded a 6 cup batch.

 

 

Shortbread Thumbprints

 

 

 

Shortbread Thumbprints

1/2 cup Margarine

1/2 cup Shortening

2/3 cup Sugar

1 tbsp Non-Dairy Yogurt, plain or vanilla (I used coconut)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Salt

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Jam (your favorite)

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat the margarine and shortening until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the sugar and beat on medium for about 2 minutes. Add the yogurt, vanilla, and salt, beat for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the flour and beat on low or stir in, until all the flour has been mixed in (careful not to over mix).

Using a level tablespoon to measure, scoop dough, roll into a ball, place about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookies sheet, and gently press into 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch thick discs. Make an indentation in the center of discs and fill with jam.

Bake for 14 – 18 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.

Allow to cool on sheet for 1 – 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 30 cookies.

 

 

 

Rainbow Donuts

Rainbow Donuts

I was in the mood to bake something cute, I had the time to bake something quick. Have you notice how quick and cute are rarely achieved with the same recipe?… Then I recalled funfetti… Funfetti cupcakes, cookies, pancakes, dips, frostings, even popcorn seem to have taken food blogs by storm. They all look so cute, with no real extra effort. Perfect! I was going to make funfetti donuts!

So things were going great, my ingredients were mostly mixed. Things were just buzzing along, when I discover that what I thought were rainbow sprinkles, were actually rainbow nonpareils. Argh!… Not to be defeated, I tossed them in anyway… I think that the nonpareils bled more than funfetti would have, and there was more blending of colours (creating an almost tie dye effect in areas). I loved them!… Cute, fun, and fast!

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Donuts

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/3 cup Sugar

6 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk

6 tbsp Non-Dairy Yogurt

2 tbsp Canola Oil

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 tsp Rainbow Nonpareils

 

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease donut pan.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Blend together the sugar, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla, until thoroughly combined. Add to the dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Stir in nonpareils (be careful not to stir too much, or your batter could go from colorful to muddy)

Fill each donut well 3/4 full. Bake for 6 – 10 minutes, until donuts spring back when lightly pressed (or an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to rack.

When completely cool, ice the tops.

Makes 6 donuts

 

 

Icing

1/2 cup Icing Sugar

1 1/2 – 2 1/2 tsp Non-Dairy Milk

1 – 2 tsp Rainbow Nonpareils

 

Stir together the sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk, until smooth. Add additional milk 1/4 tsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached… The icing should be thick, and smooth out very slowly when stirred.

Sprinkle nonpareils onto freshly iced donuts… Icing dries quickly, so it is best to add sprinkles immediately.

 

 

Vanilla Latte Cookies

Vanilla Latte Cookies

I have no doubt where my sweet tooth came from. My maternal grandmother LOVED sweets. I once witnessed her eat half a pumpkin pie for breakfast. She didn’t even like pumpkin!… For me, it’s a joy to bake for someone who truly enjoys it, and I sometimes find myself wishing that I could still share my latest creations with her. There are so may recipes I’ve come up with, that I know she’d go crazy for… These soft, coffee flavoured cookies would definitely be a hit with her. I can totally see her devouring them as an afternoon snack, or maybe for breakfast 😉

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Latte Cookies

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tbsp Cocoa Powder (sift if lumpy)

1 tsp Baking Soda

3 tbsp Instant Coffee, divided *

1/2 cup Margarine

1/4 cup Shortening

1 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Non-Dairy Yogurt

1 tbsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp Apple Cigar Vinegar

30 – 35 Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans (optional, for decoration)

 

Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare baking sheets.

Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of instant coffee. Set aside.

Beat the margarine and shortening until well combined. Beat in sugar and the 2 remaining tablespoons of instant coffee. Add yogurt, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Using a tablespoon to measure, scoop dough, place on baking sheet (2 inches apart), flatten slightly, and center a chocolate covered bean on top (if using).

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 – 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

 

* 1 tbsp of instant coffee is added to the flour mixture to add coffee flecks in the cookies.