Tag Archive | vanilla

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels

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I’ve never been one to make candy. The fudge from yesterday was as close to candy as I’ve ever really gotten. Until last year.

I saw a recipe for caramel. I was in awe. Not to mention that we had just started making our own vanilla, so I had vanilla beans at my disposal. (happy dance!)

I’m pretty sure I made these at least three times last year and only within a couple weeks. Every party I took these to, they got eaten right away! They were that good.

The most difficult thing about these was just finding the fleur de sel. I went to a local bulk foods store that has a plethera of coarse salts, but none with this specific name. And the employees weren’t helpful either. But thankfully, I have had my handy dandy ‘smart’ phone and could look up some other names for it. I ended up buying was called Sel Gris, a french sea salt. It was a little pricey, but I have barely used any of it over the course of the year, so I think it’s well worth the money.

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels (from Annie’s Eats)Yield: 64 caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped1 1/4 tsp fleur de sel, plus a little more sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods and fleur de sel.  Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occassionaly, until the mixture turns a light golden caramel color.
Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel. The mixture with bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly. Continue simmering the mixture until it reaches 248 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Immediately remove from heat and pour in the the prepared pan.
Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel.
Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut in to 1×1 inch pieces.
If I recall, I buttered a pizza cutter and it worked quite well 🙂
Wrap the individual pieces in small pieces of wax paper. (or just eat them all!)

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There you have it. Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels. Wasn’t that easy?

Here’s my next flamingo!
Flamingo #5, 2009

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Merry Christmas!

Try, Try Again

Well, I’ve done it again. I made a clean (which also happen to be gluten free) treat for myself last night, and it did NOT turn out.

I’ve done this countless times. I really want something yummy AND healthy. Is that too much to ask for?

I don’t think so.

Most recipes I try aren’t sweet enough or are too sweet, but in a weird way. Not a sugary sweet, since I don’t use granulated sugar. It’s hard to explain, but it’s weird. And I don’t like it.

So I’m trying it again. Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies. Found here.

Not only are these clean, but they are also gluten free 🙂

I whipped them up quickly after dinner and was so excited to have a yummy healthy treat!!! And right before Halloween. Maybe I won’t splurge on candy this year…well, let be real.

They were…okay. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted good. The texture is something to get used to, especially for someone that’s never baked with coconut flour. But if you are someone like me that is used to sugar filled goodness, these will wake up your taste buds!

The texture is definitely different  from any baked thing I’ve ever made, but don’t let this discourage you, try, try again.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies (adapted from The Prudent Wife)

3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (you can also use butter)
1 cup coconut milk
6 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp honey (more if you want the cookies sweeter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, beat the eggs thoroughly. Add coconut milk and honey. Pulse a few times until combined.
Add coconut oil and pulse until combined.
Add dry ingredients and pulse gently until combined.

Taste your ‘dough’ to see if you like it. If it’s not sweet enough, add some more honey.

Bake for 20 minutes

All ingredients mixed together!

The finished product!

Add-ins:

When adding the dry ingredient, mix in:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Dashes of ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves, to taste.
Top with a few chocolate chips before baking.

Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been wanting to make some frozen yogurt for a whole, and normally vanilla is not the first flavor I run to. Give me chocolate, peanut butter, or fruity flavors first. I always put vanilla at the end of my list. But, since I had some vanilla beans to use from a bottle of my DIY vanilla that I had just used up, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make something with them. And, I’m still eating clean (and will be for pretty much ever), so I wanted to make a recipe I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating.
So I started Pinterest-ing and couldn’t find one recipe that I actually wanted to use. I either didn’t have all the ingredients, or it used a cup of sugar, which is a big no-no in the clean eating world. (and I’m totally okay with that!)
So, here’s where creating my own recipe comes in again. The biggest trick is to find a sweetener that will work in place of sugar and still sweeten it enough so everyone else likes it too.
There are many different sweeteners you can use in place of sugar. Honey, agave nectar, stevia, coconut sugar, etc. If you head to a grocery store, you will likely find something that will work. I’m not a huge fan of using ‘fake’ sugar like Splenda, since we’ve found out its not quite as good for you as they first made it out to be.
For this recipe, I used agave nectar. Why, you may ask? Well, most of the time, I use honey in place of sugar, but that’s mostly in baking, and if its not baked, I feel that whatever you make ends up tasting like honey, and that’s it. So agave nectar has a more mild taste and seems to mix in a little better to cold things. Many thanks to my friend Janelle for letting me borrow her food processor for extended periods of time. It just makes everything easier! (I really need to invest in one of my own soon)

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

1 cup milk (I used 1%, but I’m sure you could use almond, coconut, etc)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
18 oz plain Greek yogurt, nonfat
2 vanilla beans, split and seeded
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup agave nectar (more if you want it sweeter)

In a food processor, blender, or mixing bowl, blend all ingredients together. (how easy is that!)
Pour ingredients into the frozen canister of your I’ve cream maker and follow your I’ve cream makers directions.
Then put in freezable container and freezer for about 4 hours or until ready to serve.
Note: Once fully frozen, it is hard to scoop, since it is not like normal ice cream from the store. If using later, I suggest letting it sit out for a bit before scooping. Trust me, it will be less frustrating.

Disclaimer: This frozen yogurt is NOT as sweet as the stuff you buy from the store and it does have a slight Greek yogurt taste to it. You could use half regular yogurt if you wanted or use a flavored Greek yogurt like vanilla to give it a different flavor.

I paired this with my Black Bean Brownies and it was an amazing treat!