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I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
Announcing the 2nd Santa Cruz Vanilla Festival
Friday, September 29, 2017 • Santa Cruz, CA • Come Meet the Queen!
– Learn More & Buy Tickets –
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Cookies

Maple Vanilla Pecan Shortbread

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My great aunt Oolie McGoogan, made a simple, delicious shortbread that she learned from her husband Angus’ family. Shortbread was always butter, flour, yellow sugar and a pinch of salt. The trick to the success of her shortbread was to knead it for at least 20 minutes. After it was cut into fingers and baked, it was supposed to rest for at least a week before serving. You didn’t mess with it, and we all got a tin of her shortbread for the holidays.  How times have changed!

Caramel Apple Bars

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Served warm, topped with ice-cream after dinner or for breakfast on a crisp fall day, Caramel Apple Bars are a comforting treat any way you slice them. Perfect for an autumn picnic, these are like a bite of fresh apple pie, conveniently packaged as a cookie bar. If you like caramel and apples, you’ll be sure to love these Caramel Apple Bars.

Pecan Sandies

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What’s not to like about freshly baked cookies!  Some cookies lose their edge fairly quickly, and are best devoured within a day or two.

Anything based on shortbread, however, ages very nicely.  I learned this at an early age as my great aunt, Oolie MacGugan (yep, that was her real name), made traditional Scottish shortbread, which was cut in simple rectangular bars and aged for a couple of weeks before it was served.

Franco-American Macaroons

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Courtesy of Didi Davis: www.dididavisfood.com

These cookies are a combination of the French style macaroon, made with ground almonds, and the American style macaroon, made with coconut. I’ve changed the nut to pecans, which are a dreamy combination with vanilla and coconut. The flavors grow in your mouth and linger pleasingly for a long time.

Churros

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If you have never had real churros, you are in for a treat!  First, lightly sweetened fried dough is hard to beat as long as it’s prepared properly.  However, what should be a delicate treat can easily become a sodden, greasy, unpalatable mess.  And, if it is held under a heat lamp for very long, it can become tough.  So, that’s why I say, real churros.

Russian Tea Cakes

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Whenever I think about holiday baking, Russian Tea Cakes (aka Mexican Wedding Cookies) are at the forefront of my mind. What’s not to love about the buttery, crumbly deliciousness of these cookies. with their fragrant toasted nuts and powdered sugar spilling everywhere? Okay, the powdered sugar part can be annoying. What I also love about these cookies is that they’re pretty much popular worldwide with essentially the same ingredients though some come with a few special touches. I recently found a unique version of these cookies in Sunset Magazine. Created by Yigit Pura of “Tout Sweet Patisserie,” they are noted for their extreme crispness and toasty-brown butter flavor. I also like that they’re made with vanilla bean paste. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy. Prefer a different alcohol or want to substitute a liqueur? Why not? And, if you don’t want alcohol, you can substitute milk.

Heavenly Brownie-on-Shortbread Bars

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 Courtesy of Flo Braker

Here’s a fun recipe from Flo’s book, Baking for All Occasions.  It makes a great hostess
gift as do many of her delectable recipes.

Flo says:  Baking the silky, intense chocolate topping on crunchy (firm) shortbread makes for neatly cut brownies that will lend panache to any dessert time. 

Vanilla Banana Mac-Nut Cookies

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Courtesy of Gina Tassone, Vanilla Contessa

Almost everyone has experienced the frustration of bananas that have gone from perfect to mush, seemingly overnight. Summer is especially cruel to the sweet and perishable fruit. The Queen’s right-hand woman, Gina, a.k.a. the Contessa, has thoughtfully shared with us a great recipe for utilizing those overripe bananas. You will undoubtedly want to use this recipe often, as it’s quite good.

Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • You get MORE FLAVOR because we use 20% more beans in our extracts than is required by law!
  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is ORGANICALLY grown.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

Thank you for supporting The Vanilla Company and our farmers! BUY HERE now.

For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

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